Cable packages are looking awfully expensive these days — especially to cord-cutters used to spending $10 a month on Netflix and (for the lucky ones) borrowing someone else's HBO Go login. So as Recode notes, AT&T is now offering a pretty fantastic bundle meant to lure in those users and eventually convert them into loyal customers. For $39 a month, you get broadband internet, a basic U-verse TV package, and access to both HBO and Amazon Prime. Yes, HBO Go access is included. And on the Amazon side, you're not just limited to Prime Instant Video; you get a full Amazon Prime subscription, which includes other perks like free two-day shipping, Prime Music, and so on. If you're already a Prime member, the extra year from AT&T's deal just gets tacked on to your existing subscription.
To get that appealing $39-per-month rate, you'll need to sign on for an entire year of service. Leave before those 12 months are up, and you'll have to pay AT&T a $180 termination fee. Also, once the promotional period expires, your monthly bill will likely hike up by a significant amount — though theoretically nothing should stop you from bailing on AT&T at that point. The cable companies seem to think that once they hook customers with low monthly fees, those subscribers will stick around and eventually start paying for a more typical cable setup, forking over $90 or $100 with every bill.
And even if not, bringing people on board with packages like this one beats not having them as customers at all. Other, bigger cable companies like Comcast have also experimented with similar bundles. The deal also makes some sense for Amazon; the online retailer already has tens of millions of Prime subscribers, but is obviously eager to maximize the viewing audience for its original Prime Video shows and other content. And it's already got a cozy relationship with AT&T, which exclusively carries the Fire Phone — even if that product is far from the hit both sides wanted.