In lieu of building out its own full-blown streaming TV subscription service, Verizon is instead putting its weight behind YouTube TV. On Tuesday, the company confirmed that it plans to directly offer YouTube TV to both its broadband and mobile customers. For now, there are zero details on exactly when Verizon will begin selling YouTube TV subscriptions or whether its customers can expect a discount versus just paying for it alone. Verizon says there will be promotions for its customers, but I expect those will require a bigger bundle with either Fios or a smartphone plan. Verizon will also promote YouTube TV as part of the arrangement.
Verizon has partnered with popular streaming apps before. Some of its unlimited mobile data plans include a free Apple Music membership. And Fios customers can redeem a year of free Netflix right now, for example — if they’ll sign a two-year agreement. The extremely small number of people with Verizon 5G Home broadband have already been able to receive YouTube TV as part of their service.
YouTube TV just hiked its base subscription price to $50 with the addition of Discovery networks, and the move has left some users frustrated and wondering if it’s still worth keeping over traditional cable. Having more exposure via Verizon might help counteract any cancellations over the more expensive monthly fee. And it gives Verizon an answer to the DirecTV Now and WatchTV services owned and promoted by rival AT&T.
“YouTube TV has become known for its best-in-class user experience that enhances the way users watch live TV today,” said Heather Rivera, YouTube’s global head of product partnerships. “With this partnership, we’re making it simple and seamless for Verizon’s customers to sign up to enjoy YouTube TV on-the-go on their mobile phones or tablets or at home on their big screen devices.”
“As we pave the path forward on 5G, we’ll continue to bring our customers options and access to premium content by teaming up with the best providers in the industry and leveraging our network as a service strategy,” said Verizon’s Erin McPherson, head of content strategy and acquisitions. “We were first in the world to bring commercial 5G to our customers and now another first on the content front as we offer our customers access to YouTube TV on whatever platform they choose.”