AT&T recently launched CruiseCast, its in-car entertainment platform. CruiseCast is a joint venture with RaySat Broadcasting Corporation, and delivers 42 channels, 22 broadcast video and 20 radio, via satellite to in-vehicle entertainment devices. Content includes popular choices like USA, CNN, Discovery, and ESPN Mobile. It costs $1,299 to install and has a monthly subscription cost of $28.
Tara Seals of VON poses a very interesting question – will CruiseCast be bundled with U-Verse? “The single bill [where AT&T would charge for both U-Verse and CruiseCast together] is not there today, but we are very interested in making that happen. We’re talking to various groups within AT&T,” Winston Guillory Jr., president of RaySat Broadcasting Corp. tells VON. To that we would respond, why just bundle the two? Why not rebrand CruiseCast as U-Verse or U-Verse Auto? There’s tremendous brand recognition with U-Verse already. Why not extend it to this new line of business, which Frost & Sullivan predicts will grow to a market of 65 million by 2017. It’s probably too late, given CruiseCast as a brand just got off the ground and we’re sure a lot of work went into its development. But as an outsider looking in, it sure makes sense to us.
2 thoughts on “Is U-Verse Coming to Cars?”
They wouldn’t do that because U-Verse is closely aligned with IP, and they’re trying to build awareness around that. U-Verse is very much a wireline strategy.
I’ll push back on this a little. There may be very legitimate reasons not to use the U-verse brand. But it’s alignment with IP shouldn’t be one. This thinking is illustrative of our industry’s over reliance on ‘technology.’ I would argue that customer’s could care less if U-Verse is aligned with IP – they just care that it works and it offers compelling value. If by using the brand, they could extend a good value proposition beyond the home, I would argue it’s a legitimate approach. I’ll also admit, some circles may question whether U-Verse is a ‘valuable’ brand. For the sake of this argument, I’m assuming its built up some decent brand value.
Now, as I mentioned before, there certainly could be very legitimate reasons not to use the U-Verse brand in this way – reasons that I’m not privy to. But I hope its not because it wouldn’t be delivered over IP.
Managing Editor, Telecompetitor