Verizon is reportedly still at work on a streaming TV service to compete with the likes of DirecTV Now, YouTube TV and Hulu, and the company has a new strategy in mind for the launch.
According to TechCrunch (which is owned by Verizon through Oath, the combined business of AOL and Yahoo), Verizon is planning to launch a streaming service that would be split up by themes including news, sports and entertainment, with each of those services being offered as a standalone app.
The approach sounds similar to the thematic add-on packages that virtual MVPDs like Sling TV already sell. According to the report, each channel from Verizon would be anchored by third-party premium content and the channels would also leverage content from Verizon’s Oath brands. In particular, the report suggested that Verizon could use some of the NFL content it scored in its new deal to lure users into the sports channel.
The report couldn’t say when this service might roll out and whether it would be a subscription or ad-supported service.
Verizon has been long-at-work on a streaming service and Marni Walden, Verizon’s executive vice president and president of global media and telematics who is leaving the company next month, alluded to Verizon’s plans for a streaming TV service last year.
“Originals are important and sports are really important. But we don’t want to do just a ‘me too’ thing out there. You’re going to see us do things in a different way. It’s definitely not about quantity though. There are some things you have to have but we’re not looking for the kitchen sink on this one,” Walden told investors during a Guggenheim Media Day event last summer.
But Verizon’s streaming TV ambitions have been temporarily sidelined by factors including technology hurdles, difficult negotiations with broadcasters and programmers, and Walden’s imminent exit from the company.