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Mobile Video Streaming from AT&T

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Millennials, much more than older consumers, tend to be ‘cord-cutters’. They often scorn fixed home cable or satellite TV. They tend to prefer streaming internet video to mobile devices, and can be unreceptive to pitches for conventional subscription TV services. How, then, can a legacy pay TV provider reach them?

AT&T thinks it knows the answer. Working with the Chernin Group, AT&T is preparing for the rollout of a TV subscription service geared for fans of niche action sports, video games, anime, and other video content considered exotic by most subscription video service providers.

The new video platform, provisionally titled Project X, is under the control of Ellation, a San Francisco-based subsidiary of Otter Media, a joint venture of AT&T and the Chernin Group. Ellation my have been chosen because it  owns Crunchyroll, an anime service with more than 800,000 subscribers. Ellation is expected to combine Crunchyroll with content produced by by a number of other partners.

AT&T has not said whether Project X will be a fixed bundle or a series of a la carte options.

Project X is scheduled for launch late this year, though likely under a different name.

This isn’t the first mobile video subscription venture by AT&T and the Chernin Group. Fullscreen, owned by Otter Media, is a subscription channel featuring YouTube stars such as Shane Dawson, Grace Helbig, and Hannah Hart. It may be incorporated into Project X, but neither AT&T nor the Chernin Group has confirmed that it will be.

This isn’t AT&T’s first move into streaming video geared for mobile devices. In March, the telecom announced that its DirecTV division would carry three such services: DirecTV Now, DirecTV Mobile, and DirecTV Anywhere. None will require contracts, long-term commitments, or installation of specialized equipment. Two will be offered for nominal monthly fees. One will be ad-supported, and free to the viewer. Any of them can be streamed through the wired or wireless network of the customer’s choice, as long as it carries enough bandwidth to support video.

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