Verizon’s early promotional partnership with Disney+, which launched in November 2019, seems to have generated a significant amount of loyal Disney+ subscribers.
During today’s earnings call, Verizon CFO Matt Ellis said that more than two thirds of his company’s Disney+ promo customers have retained their subscriptions either through Verizon direct billing or by opting into one of the company’s new unlimited wireless plans, some of which include the full Disney streaming bundle with Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+.
When Disney+ launched on Nov. 12, 2019, Verizon began a promotion giving both its 4G LTE and 5G unlimited subscribers along with new Fios Home Internet and 5G Home Internet customers a free year of the service. Last August, Verizon said existing customers receiving 12 months access to Disney+ were eligible to move to new unlimited plans with The Disney Bundle included, or for $6 per month they were able to stay in their current plan and add both ESPN+ and Hulu.
Verizon also has wireless partnerships with other third-party services including Apple Music, PlayStation Now and Discovery+. CEO Hans Vestberg said during today’s call that his company won’t be offering hundreds of different third-party services through its wireless plans but that it would look to work with more “Super A” brands like Disney and Discovery.
“We will look for more of these to see that they’re fitting in with our customer base, that they like them and are willing to both to upgrade and migrate,” Vestberg said.
While the video service partnership plan seems to be working out for Verizon’s wireless business, the company on the wireline side is still operating its Fios Video service, which recorded another 72,000 net customer losses in the fourth quarter.
Vestberg said his company will continue offering Fios Video while also selling Mix & Match plans that pair Fios Internet (which added 92,000 consumer customers in the quarter) with virtual MVPDs like YouTube TV.
“Look at the numbers in the fourth quarter. We continue to grow our Fios Internet customers and we have a decline in video customers. That’s good for us financially,” he said.