Verizon eyes two-fold benefits as Disney+ promo expires

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(Fierce Wireless)(Monica Alleven/Fierce Wireless)

Verizon’s promotion that gave a free year of Disney+ to its subscribers is beginning to roll off and that means different positive outcomes are coming into play.

Ronan Dunne, executive vice president and CEO of Verizon’s Consumer Group, spoke today at a Morgan Stanley investor conference and described how Verizon can benefit as it transitions out of the promo. He said customers can decide to subscribe to Disney+ service through Verizon, in which case the providers makes an affiliate commission for being the reseller, which he described as “economically attractive.”

“…Or even better I can offer the customer the chance to step up, get enhanced benefits in the tiering in the premium layer and by the way get Disney for free now including Disney plus ESPN plus Hulu, so an even bigger package available to customers on the top tiers,” Dunne said, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript.

RELATED: Verizon hints at more bundles after expanding Disney+ deal

In August, Verizon began selling Mix & Match unlimited wireless plans that combine 5G service with access to Disney+, ESPN+, Hulu and Apple Music. At the same time, the company said existing customers receiving 12 months access to Disney+ can move to the new Play More and Get More Unlimited plans with The Disney Bundle included, or for $6 per month they can stay in their current plan and add both ESPN+ and Hulu.

Dunne said that by relying on its 90 million wireless subscribers, the company can be a more efficient purchaser of content and gain economies of scale by passing Disney+ and other content services onto its customers.

“I'm not getting it for free, but I'm getting very good wholesale rate. And so I can invest $1 in the customer and it costs me significantly less than $1,” Dunne said.

For Disney, the Verizon partnership has helped contribute to rapid growth in the first year of Disney+. The service ended the most recent quarter with 73.7 million subscribers.