AT&T offers video-on-demand service to discourage cord cutting

January 8, 2013
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The discussion about cord cutting has been growing louder as more and more people consider ditching expensive cable packages and replacing them with video-on-demand services offering libraries of content. The popularity of Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Redbox Instant, and Hulu has got some traditional providers worried. AT&T is the latest company to introduce some kind of video-on-demand service for existing customers, possibly to try and combat the lure of Netflix and the gang.

Announced at CES in Las Vegas yesterday, the new service is called the U-Verse Screen Pack and it will cost $5 per month. It’s only available to existing U-Verse TV subscribers and currently it offers a library of 1,500 movies which can be viewed on TVs, laptops, tablets or smartphones. AT&T is offering a free preview week which ends on January 13th.

The service is focused on movies, unlike Netflix which also offers TV shows, and AT&T has promised that more titles will be added as they strike deals with studios. Currently 1,500 movies puts it a long way behind the competition.

When you consider the economic imperative for many people to consider cutting the cord in the first place, you have to wonder why AT&T is charging extra for this. Subscribers to U-Verse are already paying monthly fees, charging them an extra $5 per month for a service that sounds far inferior to the video-on-demand competition doesn’t seem like a sure fire way of retaining customers. What do you think?

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