Verizon is working on offering OTT content as well as connected home products, TechCrunch reported, as the operator looks to diversify its mobile and broadband business.
The move will pit it against not only OTT players including Hulu and Netflix, but also AT&T’s DirecTV.
Verizon will package video content in channels which could take the form of standalone apps and be designed around themes like news, sports and entertainment. The service will bring together third party content with that produced by properties owned by Oath, a Verizon subsidiary, including TechCruch, Engadget and Huffington Post.
It is not clear when the service will be launched and if it will be a paid offering or supported by ads. Reportedly the video service had been delayed, partly due to executive changes at the company along with negotiations around content deals.
Verizon of course already offers a video service called Go90, which enjoyed mixed success.
Smart home play
TechCrunch estimated Verizon invested between $4 billion and $5 billion in content deals. The report also said Verizon wants to manage and monitor connected home devices.
At CES, Oath CEO Tim Armstrong said: “There’s a commoditisation potential with a lot of brands based on just being pure platform [play]. I think from a consumer standpoint and from a business standpoint, our strategy is differentiated for two main reasons: it’s all built around mobile, and we also have enough traffic [across our properties] – a billion users – to have platform scale.”
In August 2017 it was reported Verizon’s plans to launch a new online TV service had fallen by the wayside as the US operator struggled to obtain rights from many of the country’s most popular networks.