AT&T hasn’t released subscriber figures for DirecTV Now, its recently launched OTT-TV service, but some new data obtained by a top analyst in the streaming sector could shed some light on those numbers.
The new service has peaked “about around 35,000 simultaneous viewers,” Dan Rayburn, EVP for StreamingMedia.com and principal analyst at Frost & Sullivan, noted Thursday in this blog post, citing info obtained from key third-party suppliers that deliver video for DirecTV Now.
Rayburn stressed that simultaneous usage doesn’t indicate the number of subs that DirecTV Now has, but surmises that it’s in the neighborhood of 140,000 using an industry average that about 25% of users are streaming from the service at any given time.
Rayburn, who said earlier that AT&T had reserved enough capacity to support about 1 million simultaneous DirecTV Now customers, also notes that the figure includes consumers who are testing the service for free for the first 30 days.
“While I don’t know what percentage of total users are paid versus non-paid, I would estimate AT&T has less than 100,000 paying subs for their new service since it launched,” Rayburn wrote.
Also playing a possible negative factor in the current rate of new sign ups, he points out, could be some of the technical snafus and service outages that DirecTV Now has suffered during its early days. DirecTV Now also recently dropped the $35 per month promotional price for a “Go Big” tier that offers a lineup of more than 100 channels that was used to create some consumer urgency around the new product.
“When a service like AT&T’s struggles with reliability, video quality and functionality, and has non-existent support for consumers, it’s not going to fare well,” Rayburn said, holding that DirecTV Now “won’t have any material impact on cable TV subscriber numbers and isn’t a catalyst for cord cutting.”
AT&T declined to comment on Rayburn’s streaming estimates for DirecTV Now.