Verizon set to launch online-video service by mid-2015, CEO says

Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) expects to launch its own Internet-based video service by the middle of 2015, the company's chief executive, Lowell McAdam, revealed Thursday.

Speaking at the Goldman Sachs Communicopia conference in New York, McAdam said Verizon has the technology components in place to launch such a service, thanks to the acquisition of Intel's OnCue assets in January. Perhaps more importantly, the CEO said Verizon also has major content owners interested in supporting online video.

"I think over-the-top video is right around the corner," McAdam said. "We've got the assets in place, and I don't feel we need an awful lot more."

Program suppliers, which had been reluctant to support online-video services, have "moved from almost a stiff-arm to much more of an embrace," he added. "Over the last six months to a year, that dialogue is changing dramatically,"

The major entertainment conglomerates have indeed stepped up their licensing activity for virtual pay-TV platforms, with Disney signing a wide-ranging deal to facilitate the launch of Dish's upcoming OTT network, and Viacom announcing earlier this week a deal to support Sony's OTT plan.

McAdam said Verizon's service would resemble SVOD platforms such as Netlfix and Hulu and deliver programming to smartphones via multicasting. "No one wants to have 300 channels on your wireless device," he said. "I think everyone understands that it will go to a la carte. The question is what does that transition look like."

For more
- read the full transcript from Lowell McAdam's Goldman Sachs presentation (courtesy of Seeking Alpha)
- read this Wall Street Journal story
- read this Reuters story

Related links
Verizon: Intel OnCue acquisition will power new OTT vide service, next-gen FiOS TV product
Viacom CEO sees 'very strong chance' of virtual multichannel provider launching in 2014
Viacom to deliver channels to Sony's new OTT service