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Verizon enters streaming arena with an eye to battle Netflix. Will you sign up for a Verizon subscription?

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Posted December 07 2011 - 06:23 AM

Yesterday Verizon announced that they will launch a standalone service allowing customers to stream movies and television shows over the Web, in a fresh challenge to Netflix Inc and the traditional cable TV business.

The phone company is talking with prospective programming partners about the service, which would be introduced outside of markets where it currently offers its broadband and TV package, known as FiOS. That would make it available to some 85 million U.S. households.  The new service could be rolled out in 2012.

Crucially, any new Web TV service would be offered outside of Verizon's FiOS current markets. Verizon currently has 5 million FiOS TV subscribers.

It will be interesting to see HOW they can compete with Netflix in establishing a library of content that would be interesting to subscribers.  Granted, Netflix has been challenged on KEEPING content for streaming, let alone adding new content.  At the end of the day, IMO, the service won't be successful without a larger content library and a large marketing budget to raise awareness.

It will also be interesting to see how data caps will play into all of this...

How many people have their credit card out already?! :)

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Posted December 07 2011 - 04:43 PM

According to TechCrunch, Verizon is now planning a major partnership with RedBox, which is planning on launching a TV and movie streaming and download service this coming May.  The service is supposed to be a subscription, streaming, and downloading service for TV and movies that will be available onsupporting iOS, Android, Google TV, Xbox, Roku and other streaming boxes, and browsers.  It should be noted that “Set-top boxes,”  aka STB's are not supported as this is an internet service.

Hmmm, I guess I am still skeptical on how Red Box + Verizon will secure Hollywood content rights.  Hollywood already got pulled into the whole rental model and streaming model, which arguably can be a large part of the reason that optical disc sales have continued to decline year over year.  Hollywood and other major content providers started demanding more $ from Netflix, which was part of the demise of Netflix when they started removing/losing content.

Maybe what Hollywood do instead is lower the MSRP on Blu-Ray discs to eliminate the financial incentive to rent or stream a disc entirely?  Or maybe Hollywood could agree on one way, UV doesn't seem to be meeting that bar, on providing streaming of their movies in a uniform way, when a user purchases the Blu-Ray disc or purchases the electronic digital rights from a central clearing house that the studios participate in.  Oh...  that would probably be anti-trust then...

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Posted December 08 2011 - 03:45 AM

From "The Morning Bridge":

Strategy: Verizon is reportedly mulling the idea of an online subscription video service that would offer older movies and TV shows. WSJ says the telco has been negotiating with media companies during the past several months for rights to programming packages. Read more. --- Many cable companies may be considering a switch to usage-based billing next year, but Comcast isn't one of them. Head Comcastian Neil Smit said this week at the UBS conference that such plans wouldn't be good for the company's blossoming broadband business. Read more at GigaOm. --- "The competitor we fear the most is HBO Go," says Netflix CEO Reed Hastings. "HBO is becoming more Netflix-like and we're becoming more HBO-like." Bloomberg has the story on how Hastings sees the two companies competing "for a very long time."