There’s no doubt about it, streaming media is the wave of the future…if it’s not already the wave of “now.” Subsequent to the massive success of Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu, other companies are desperately trying to get into the game as early as possible. Disney already announced its intentions, with plans to debut ESPN and Disney streaming services next year.
Now, it seems, T-Mobile will be trying to get in on the action, announcing its plans to launch a new streaming TV service early next year. What they will show has yet to be announced.
T-Mobile, known only as a cell service provider, had been making waves in its market segment for years. While it hasn’t been able to get ahead of Verizon or AT&T, T-Mobile has grown in customers and quality, and it continues to push the industry leaders.
Commercials Similar to Hulu
This is a much bigger move, though. It comes not long after T-Mobile bought cable TV startup Layer3 TV, and the company hopes to launch a subscription service, with commercials, that is similar to Hulu.
The purchase of Layer3 is an interesting one. The company is known as both a traditional cable company and a trend-setter. While it offers the typical big bundles of channels, Layer3 also integrates online content and higher-quality video.
How T-Mobile will take this platform and go streaming with it remains to be seen. At this point, unlike its competition, T-Mobile says its streaming service will not offer original content … at least in the beginning. Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime all offer loads of original content in addition to other programming. And, in some cases, “award-winning” original content.
One question this announcement creates is what will happen to the current promotional deals T-Mobile and competitor, Sprint, are offering. T-Mobile was offering new subscribers free subscriptions to Netflix as an incentive, and Sprint began offering Hulu subscriptions in order to compete. Meanwhile, AT&T is offering HBO, also streaming.
T-Mobile Streaming is an Uphill Battle
Apples to apples, getting into streaming will be an uphill climb for T-Mobile. Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu are already entrenched, Disney is about to throw a ton of money into their streaming plans, and all of these companies offer original programming…and some also offer live sports.
How T-Mobile will try to compete with that remains to be seen, but they will certainly need a unique offer in order to get consumers to pay for yet another streaming service, especially when they may be able to get that content somewhere else.
Ronn Torossian is the Founder and CEO of the New York based public relations firm 5WPR: one of the 20 largest PR Firms in the United States.