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T-Mobile planning one-stop shop for existing TV subscription services

It's difficult to keep track of the various streaming services out there, but T-Mobile might have a solution.

Published onFebruary 8, 2019

The T-Mobile logo at MWC 2018.
  • T-Mobile says it has no plan to develop a skinny TV bundle.
  • Instead, the carrier wants to bring existing streaming services under one roof.
  • This approach echoes Amazon Channels, which is positioned as a unified hub for streaming.

Skinny bundles are all the rage now, as the likes of YouTube TV and SlingTV offer access to a handful of streaming TV channels at a fixed price. But T-Mobile thinks the landscape is crowded, and will introduce a one-stop shop for existing media offerings.

In a Q4 2018 earnings call (spotted by TechCrunch and The Streamable), T-Mobile president Mike Sievert outlined the network’s plans for an offering.

“It’s subscription palooza out there. Every single media brand either has or is developing an OTT solution, and most of these companies don’t have a way to bring these products to market. They’re learning about that, they don’t have distribution networks like us. They don’t have access to the phones like we have,” the president explained.

A move away from skinny bundles

Sievert noted that T-Mobile’s play would simplify aspects such as billing, search, and discovery. But the executive also revealed that it would bring these existing services under one roof.

“We don’t have plans to develop an nth undifferentiated skinny bundle, there are plenty of those. But we think there’s a more nuanced role for us to play in helping you get access to the great media brands out there that you love, and to be able to put to together your own media subscription in smaller pieces, $5, $6, $7, $8 at a time,” the president said during the call.

This seems to echo the approach taken by the likes of Amazon Channels, which allows you to subscribe to (and stream) existing services in one place. Aside from the convenience of streaming these services via Prime Video, users can simply pay for them via their Amazon payment information.

T-Mobile’s approach seems to make plenty of sense in this regard, as consumers should be able to manage their payments and subscriptions in one place. Additionally, the carrier has the added advantage of being able to distribute these offerings over its network.

The operator also says its Layer3 home TV service, which it expected to launch in 2018, will now launch in the first half of 2019. Either way, it looks like T-Mobile is set for a busy 2019.

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