AT&T is the latest traditional media powerhouse looking to build up an online video platform. The telecommunications corporation has teamed up with The Chernin Group for a subscription-based online video service to rival the likes of Netflix and Hulu.
Few details are known about the joint venture, though reports claim the two companies will “invest in advertising and subscription-based video-on-demand services, as well as online streaming.” This investment will be split between the two companies and will reportedly total $500 million.
As more users move online for their TV and streaming needs, cable companies and ISPs have made plans to move more assertively into the digital TV industry. In addition to AT&T, Comcast is teaming up with Apple to create a versatile set-top box while Verizon has acquired Intel Media and its proprietary OnCue Cloud TV technology.
AT&T and The Chernin Group have four main assets that will help make their online video venture a viable one. The half-billion dollar figure quoted above shows the two companies’ deep pockets. The potential customers are there, too; AT&T can provide a massive scale to the project through its 110 million wireless Internet users. The Chernin Group can provide some assets of its own, such as its majority stake in on demand anime streaming service Crunchyroll. Finally, the two companies have experience working together in online video. They teamed up last year for Summer Break, an innovative reality web series that will return this summer for a second season.
In a press release, Peter Chernin called AT&T the “perfect fit for this venture with us.”