Verizon Will Launch Skinny Bundle TV Service This Summer
Look for the streaming market to get a little more crowded this year. Bloomberg reports that Verizon Communications has begun licensing streaming rights from content providers in preparation for a summer debut. The expected skinny bundle service will have "dozens" of channels, according to unnamed sources. There's no word yet on pricing.
This news comes a week after reports that Comcast is creating a new streaming offering. Comcast is securing streaming rights from networks and cable channels to launch an online option in regions where it doesn't offer traditional cable service. This seems to be more of a full lineup offering than a skinny bundle. The company previously announced it will offer a skinny bundle service to subscribers within its geographic regions later this year.
In other Verizon news, the company has redesigned Go90, its millennial-focused ad-supported streaming service. This 3.0 version is the work of the team from Vessel, the company Verizon acquired and shuttered in October 2016. Go90 viewers should see changes in discovery, programming, and merchandising, with the service now focused on top-performing genres. Viewers will discover videos by exploring curated areas that are programmed by data and viewer response. The redesign also includes "motion posters," targeted video ads meant to appeal to advertisers. Go90 is available through iOS and Android apps.
A long feature on Business Insider describes the free-spending, unfocused missteps Verizon took with Go90, and calls this iteration "probably the app's last real shot to make it."
With mobile video on the rise, carriers have the choice of throttling data (and trashing net neutrality) or straining to keep up with their own unlimited plans.
This sports-focused skinny bundle offers big league and college action, as well as traditional pay TV fare. Investors see a Spotify for TV.
While channel selection is limited, the unlimited cloud DVR helps make up for it. Look for the $35 monthly service to debut this spring.
Does Verizon have a game plan? The chaos coming out of its video division suggests a mad scramble for Gen Z viewers, but no real results.
Verizon's free app-based video bundle for mobile-using millennials never found an audience. Now, the team behind Vessel will rebuild it.