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Verizon dives deeper into streaming with Fios TV+, Netflix/Max bundle

Verizon's streaming strategy took more shape amid the launch of its Android TV-based 'Fios TV+' platform and a new perk for unlimited mobile subs that combines Netflix and Max at a discount.

4 Min Read
Screengrab from Verizon Fios TV+ promotional video
(Source: Screengrab from Verizon Fios TV+ promotional video)

Verizon's video strategy continued to shift to streaming amid the rollout of an Android TV-powered platform for new pay-TV subs and a bundle that combines two premium streaming services – Netflix and Max.

On the platform front, Verizon last week introduced Fios TV+, an offering that features a 4K-capable Android TV streaming device that combines Verizon's pay-TV services with integrated access to Netflix and other third-party streaming services supported by the underlying Google system.

Initially targeted at new Fios TV subs, the new platform effectively succeeds Verizon's legacy Fios video platform and eliminates the need for a traditional set-top box.

Fios TV+ also gives Verizon an answer to Xumo, the Comcast-Charter Communications national streaming joint venture. Charter is starting to use the Xumo Stream Box as its go-to platform for new video sales. Comcast is currently making the Xumo Stream box available to broadband-only customers. Starting with a deal with Mediacom Communications, Xumo is also pitching its platform to operators outside the joint venture. Xumo has also developed a lineup of smart TVs that run the JV's operating system.

Verizon is billing its new platform as the "new Fios TV." Here's a promotional clip:

Verizon is offering the first Fios TV+ box for no added cost, or $12 per month for a pair, and $24 per month for four streaming boxes, according to the fine print. The monthly lease price rises to $42 for homes that require seven Fios TV+ streaming boxes.

Verizon is also selling a range of its pay-TV packages and tiers on the new platform, including Your Fios TV ($75 per month for 125-plus channels), More Fios TV ($99 per month for 300-plus channels) and The Most Fios TV ($119 per month for 425-plus channels). Verizon is also promoting YouTube TV as a pay-TV option.

Additionally, Verizon is tossing in gift cards (up to $200) as a perk for Fios TV+ and offering it as part of a "Mix & Match" program that bundles pay-TV with home broadband mobile services.

Though Fios TV+ is initially focused on new video subs, it's not clear how Verizon might use its new platform proactively to migrate existing pay-TV subs off of the legacy Fios TV platform.

Fios TV+ builds on some of Verizon's initial offers of Android TV streaming devices for broadband subs. It also enters the picture as Verizon boosts its focus on content aggregation via its +play service and as the company looks to keep pay-TV losses in check. Verizon shed about 78,000 Fios video subs in Q3, ending the period with 3.01 million.

New Netflix/Max bundle

Verizon's updated streaming strategy also includes a new promotional bundle that combines the ad-supported tiers of Netflix and Max for $10 per month for customers on unlimited "myPlan" tiers – about 40% off the regular standalone rate of about $17 per month. Verizon will make that combo available starting December 7.

Verizon also offers a perk/discount on the Disney bundle of Disney+ (no ads), ESPN+ and Hulu's subscription VoD service (with ads).

Verizon is pitching several other perks to myPlan mobile customers, including discounted rates on a 100-gigabyte mobile hotspot, 2 terabytes of cloud storage, the Apple One subscription package, Walmart+ memberships bundle for a discounted rate, as well as credits to the +play service.

"I think we hit a sweet spot" with the myPlan perks program, Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg said today at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference. "All that is driving even more traffic to our stores."

Focus on prepaid-to-postpaid migrations

Vestberg also reiterated expectations for growth in consumer wireless.

He said Verizon is putting focus on its Total by Verizon brand in order to help prepaid wireless customers migrate to postpaid wireless plans, and is building more physical Total by Verizon stores to aid in this strategy.

"We're not where we want to be yet" in terms of prepaid, but "the action plan is very clear," he said.

Will Verizon raise prices on wireless service plans again? Vestberg said for businesses and consumers, "there might be opportunities and pockets where we see we can get more value to our customers at the same time we increase the price … There are opportunities; we don't think they are opportunities that are equally big as we saw in 2022."

Vestberg was also asked about Verizon's appetite for M&A, a question that happens to emerge amid speculation about the final fate of USCellular.

"I really love my assets I have right now," Vestberg said. "We will look at everything in the market, [but] we have all the assets we need."

About the Author(s)

Jeff Baumgartner

Senior Editor, Light Reading

Jeff Baumgartner is a Senior Editor for Light Reading and is responsible for the day-to-day news coverage and analysis of the cable and video sectors. Follow him on X and LinkedIn.

Baumgartner also served as Site Editor for Light Reading Cable from 2007-2013. In between his two stints at Light Reading, he led tech coverage for Multichannel News and was a regular contributor to Broadcasting + Cable. Baumgartner was named to the 2018 class of the Cable TV Pioneers.

Mike Dano

Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies, Light Reading

Mike Dano is Light Reading's Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies. Mike can be reached at [email protected], @mikeddano or on LinkedIn.

Based in Denver, Mike has covered the wireless industry as a journalist for almost two decades, first at RCR Wireless News and then at FierceWireless and recalls once writing a story about the transition from black and white to color screens on cell phones.

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