Roku said it has issued an “early release” of DirecTV Now, AT&T’s OTT TV service, on select devices, including Roku TV 4K models, the Roku Ultra, Roku Premiere+, Roku Premiere, Roku Express, Roku Express+, Roku Streaming Stick (model 3600R), Roku 4, Roku 3, and Roku 2 (model 4210).
The long-anticipated debut of DirecTV Now on Roku’s popular platform comes roughly six months after the OTT TV service was launched in late November 2016.
Roku adds to DirecTV Now’s list of supported devices, which also includes web browsers, Amazon Fire TV players and sticks, Apple TV boxes (4th generation), Android and iOS mobile devices, the Chromecast streaming adapters and Chromecast built-in devices (when paired to an Android mobile device). MediaMall Technologies has built an unofficial work-around that enables DirecTV now users to watch on more platforms and to record shows (DirecTV Now has a cloud DVR on its product roadmap).
Tied to the the debut on the Roku platform, a one-month free trial of DirecTV Now, starting with its $35 per month, 60 channel-plus “Live a Little Package,” will be offered to Roku customers who don’t already get the OTT service.
DirecTV Now added about 200,000 subscribers in its first month of service, but AT&T did not break out customer numbers for the OTT service when it posted Q1 2017 numbers.
Bloomberg reported last week that DirecTV Now’s sub base sped past the 328,000 mark by the end of January, but followed with 3,000 sub losses in February and flat growth in March.
Speaking last week at a J.P. Morgan tech and media conference, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said DirecTV Now’s original soft-launch went “much faster than we are wanting to go” with respect to subscriber additions “so we kind of pulled back.”