Verizon Taps Scripps Networks for Mobile Video TV Content
Verizon has announced a multi-year licensing deal with Scripps Networks that will add over 45 lifestyle series to a Verizon mobile video offering. The companies didn't disclose the price for the deal, but said that it includes series from Food Network, HGTV, Travel Channel, DIY Network, and Cooking Channel. The shows will be available to Verizon Wireless customers sometime in 2015.
Individual series in the licensing agreement include House Hunters, Cutthroat Kitchen, Bizarre Foods, Rehab Addict, and My Grandmother's Ravioli.
When Verizon announced it would acquire AOL, the chief reason was to gain content and ad sales for mobile video. This looks to be part of the same strategy. Judging by the announcement, Verizon is targeting young viewers in particular: It notes that young millennials increased their over-the-top (OTT) consumption of original content by 21 percent in 2014, and that smartphone viewing grew 10 percent from 2014 to 2015.
"Beyond convenience, it is first-choice content on a first-choice platform," said Terry Denson, vice president of content strategy and acquisition at Verizon. "And being able to deliver this seamlessly via mobile, to an audience that is passionate about these genres is that much more powerful."
Verizon completed its $4.4 billion acquisition of AOL on June 23.
With the pay TV/OTT ecosystems in flux, cable channel providers look for new ways to make sure their brands are relevant to younger viewers.
While Scripps Lifestyle Networks served over 3 million ad impressions per day, changes in the programmatic marketplace made that difficult to maintain.
With the Binge On feature, which takes effect Sunday, subscribers can stream unlimited standard definition video from 24 services.
In the "72-Hour Challenge," Verizon and Digiflare created mobile and set-top apps for media organizations at a breakneck pace.
In a move few saw coming, Verizon will purchase AOL in an all-cash transaction. Attracting mobile viewers and advertisers is a chief reason why.
With more households choosing streaming over pay TV, providers are offering flexible plans that emphasize choice.
Broadcasters are more comfortable with IP-delivery and viewers crave new, flexible options. 2015 is the year of online video experimentation.