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AT&T announces new subscription video service to compete with Amazon

Focused on anime, video games, and niche action sports.


Christine Friar


Posted on Jun 6, 2016   Updated on May 26, 2021, 3:59 pm CDT

There are plenty of streaming services dedicated to replicating a TV-watching experience on our computers, tablets, and phones, but how do you market toward younger viewers who never grew up with traditional TV in the first place? 

AT&T thinks it has the answer, and the telecommunications giant announced Monday that it will launch a new video subscription service with programming specifically geared toward younger viewers.

According to Variety, the still-unnamed service will specialize in “anime, video games, niche action sports, and other fare off the beaten path.” In other words, the kinds of video that Amazon, Hulu, and Netflix don’t prioritize very highly. 

Amazon launched a similar bundled video service for Prime members in late 2015 but with an emphasis on prestige programming from networks like Starz, A&E, and AMC. This new AT&T project hopes to appeal to a viewer who likes a less linear viewing experience. 

San Francisco-based company Ellation is developing the product. Its claim to fame is Crunchyroll, a subscription-based anime video service that reportedly has more than 800,000 paid subscribers.

Internally, the service is still being referred to as “Project X,” though trademark registrations and URLs purchased by the companies suggest they’re leaning toward calling the service Vrv. The name could reportedly be announced as soon as this month, and the platform could launch later this year. 

AT&T also announced a more traditional streaming TV service earlier this year. 

H/T Variety

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*First Published: Jun 6, 2016, 9:52 pm CDT