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AT&T's new media overhaul

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AT&T is wasting no time building its big Netflix competitor, which it hopes will be the anchor of its media business, WarnerMedia (formerly Time Warner).

Why it matters: Executives believe that a Netflix-like subscription video platform, that includes evergreen content in a library of franchise-driven titles, will be the driver of WarnerMedia’s success as WarnerMedia is now one of the four core pillars of AT&T’s business.

What's happening: Over the past two weeks, WarnerMedia has shut down three digital video services that catered to niche audiences.

  • FilmStruck, Turner’s indie subscription video service that launched in 2016
  • Super Deluxe, Turner’s comedy-centric digital turned TV studio that was first acquired in 2006, folded into Adult Swim, and then revitalized in 2015
  • DramaFever, Warner Bros.’ streaming-video service specializing in Korean dramas and Asian programming

Why it matters: Executives believe that a Netflix-like subscription video platform, that includes evergreen content in a library of franchise-driven titles, will be the driver of WarnerMedia’s success. (WarnerMedia is now one of the four core pillars of AT&T’s business.)

The big picture: AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson has said that capital reallocation is a part of the company’s strategy to boost its streaming efforts.  

  • Positive earnings suggest that WarrnerMedia is doing well in its early days under the AT&T umbrella. But it still has a long way to goin consolidating its services enough to be able to foot the bill for streaming empire. 

Go deeper: Verizon vs. AT&T: A tale of two media investments

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