New York AT&T Inc on Tuesday launched exclusive content from pop star Taylor Swift, part of an effort to distinguish its new DirecTV Now streaming television service in a crowded online entertainment market.DirecTV Now started on Nov. 30. Because competitors, including Dish Network Corp’s Sling TV, offer some of the same channels, exclusive content is an increasingly important means of attracting and keeping subscribers.AT&T announced its multi-year partnership with Swift in October. Financial terms were not disclosed.Taylor Swift Now has music and behind-the-scenes video and other content from the 10-time Grammy winner, who has 82 million followers on Twitter. It is available to subscribers of DirectTV Now, as well as DirecTV and U-Verse, the Dallas-based company said.AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson told investors at a UBS conference in New York last week that DirecTV Now’s subscription rate is exceeding expectations, without providing specific targets or numbers.AT&T acquired DirecTV for $48.5 billion last year, making it the largest U.S. pay-TV operator, with 25.3 million video subscribers, in a push to diversify into the media and entertainment business.It also plans to buy Time Warner Inc for $85.4 billion to gain control of premium content from networks such as HBO. The wireless company is working on gaining regulatory approval for its Time Warner deal.
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