AT&T has decided its new streaming video service will charge a single price of about $17 and not include advertising.
Dave Kotinsky—Getty Images for DirecTV
By Adam Lashinsky and Aaron Pressman
Updated: May 31, 2019 12:48 PM ET | Originally published: June 7, 2019

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WarnerMedia’s reported plans for its new video streaming service make for a good example of why business is so interesting.

The Wall Street Journal says the AT&T unit intends to launch a service to house all its properties for $16 or $17 a month. That’s more than twice the price of the new Disney+ and far above Netflix but barely more than what its HBO unit’s streaming service already charges. In other words, if The Journal is correct, AT&T intends to offer all the family’s jewels for a tad more than it charges today for one prized property.

There are more surprises still. Industry watchers had expected a tiered-pricing strategy, a good/better/best approach. Instead, AT&T appears to have chosen a one-size-fits-all price. Also, while AT&T is said to be considering selling advertising against its shows down the road, as Comcast’s NBCUniversal plans to do, for now it is going the no-ads route of Disney+ and Netflix. “They were telling me how they were going to cash in on targeted advertising with an [Internet streaming] service,” Fortune’s Geoff Colvin wrote me Thursday afternoon. He’s referring to his extensive interviews with AT&T executives for his recent feature on the company.

All the major players know they can’t all win here. Consumers simply won’t support unlimited subscription services. Again, that’s why business is a glorious competition. There will be losers.

***

I sat courtside at a Golden State Warriors basketball game for precisely one quarter of one game in my life. A friend had received tickets from the late Dave Goldberg, a spot along the out-of-bounds line known as “the Goldie seats,” and he asked me to join him briefly. It was exhilarating.

This was for a regular season game. Wednesday night, before the shameful fracas involving former Sequoia Capital investor Mark Stevens, I was scanning the sidelines before a commercial break and am pretty sure I spotted Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky. I know I saw Jason Calcanis and Ben Horowitz. I commented to my wife that if I were a billionaire (or nearly one) I’d get awesome seats in the 12th row or so to make sure that I didn’t show up on TV, the better to enjoy my privileged existence off camera. “That’s why you’re not a billionaire,” she said.

That’s probably not the only reason. But I can’t argue with that.

***

Herb Sandler, a great businessman and human being, has left us. Read here and here about his stupendous career as a banker and a philanthropist. I knew him briefly as an intensely engaging and caring conversationalist and a proud father. May his memory be a blessing.

Adam Lashinsky
@adamlashinsky
adam_lashinsky@fortune.com

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