The competition amongst cord-cutting services has never been more fierce than it is in 2018. An increasing number of consumers are ditching traditional pay-TV services for cheaper and feature-heavy streaming services like DirectTV Now, YouTube TV and, of course, Sling TV. Since consumers have so many options, streaming services are getting more creative with features to set themselves apart. DISH Network’s Sling TV has always been a favorite for antenna enthusiasts but they really doubled-down on that audience with their new AirTV product.
AirTV is a $120 box that offers free broadcast channels via an antenna. These channels can then be accessed through Sling TV apps on supported devices like Roku players, Amazon Fire, as well as iOS and Android devices. This allows Sling users to utilize one app for watching both cable and broadcast channels. Not only that, but AirTV allows its users to have one guide that shows the programming content for both cable and broadcast channels. Since Sling TV can be accessed from mobile devices, the AirTV also gives its users the option to watch broadcast channels wherever they might be.
Mitch Weinraub, AirTV’s director of product development, spoke with Fast Company about this new product, saying that “We think there are an awful lot of folks out there who already know the value of this content, of how much you can get with an antenna…This really gives them a much easier way to integrate it into their lives.”.
According to Weinraub, of Sling TV’s current 2 million customers the majority actually utilize antenna somewhere within their homes. As more people turn to free channels via broadcast, AirTV could be just the thing DISH Network needs to set their Sling TV service apart from the rest.
Weinraub acknowledges that AirTV has not done a great job of advertising its services since it first launched in 2017. The company is making a concerted effort to better market its products, and to be clear about what exactly AirTV does. “If you live 100 miles from the city, and you go to your local Best Buy and buy a cheap window antenna, you’re not going to be a very happy customer,” Weinraub says. “We’re trying to make sure that as we market it out, we’re marketing it in a way that customers can understand what to expect, and we can help guide them in terms of antennas.”.
“We think there’s a real opportunity here to get a whole lot of content rather cost effectively to the customer,” Weinraub says, “and most customers are really pleasantly surprised when they see what’s out there when they pick up an antenna.”.
Maybe you don’t care about broadcast channels, and that’s ok! However, a lot of people across the country do and AirTV is offering a service that could be just what DISH Network needs to set Sling TV apart from its competitors.