AT&T Strengthens Paid Streaming Service with Partnerships

vrv at&t streamingUS mobile network AT&T is doubling down on its VRV subscription-based streaming service, signing deals with popular web channels including CollegeHumor, Funimation and Machinima to join its existing lineup.

The service is planned for a launch later this year, and has already secured content from online video publishers including Rooster Teeth, Crunchyroll and NBCs online brand Seeso. Altogether, the channels boast a combined audience of tens of millions on YouTube and more than a million paying subscribers.

The VRV service will be run by Ellation, an online video firm backed by Otter Media, a joint venture between AT&T and the Chernin Group that the two companies formed after a failed bid for Hulu in 2013.

VRV believes that by gathering all these services in one place, it can build a new web and mobile media brand that consumers will be willing to pay for.

“We are bringing together a bunch of brands that give us critical mass,” said Tom Pickett, CEO of Ellation, which also plans on commissioning original programming for the service.

However, the subscription streaming market is an increasingly crowded one, and with much of its content already available for free, it may face an uphill struggle.