Verizon Launches ‘+Play,’ Partners with Netflix, A+E Networks, and More
Today at an investor day event, Verizon announced the pending test launch of +Play, a platform designed to market third-party streaming services to Verizon customers. Escalating its role as an aggregator of streaming services, the company has formed a new partnership with Netflix and other subscription services across entertainment, audio, gaming, fitness, music, and lifestyle.
At the end of March, Verizon will begin testing +Play with a select group of customers and streaming partners. A nationwide rollout will occur later on in 2022.
Other partners will include A+E Networks (HISTORY Vault, Lifetime Movie Club, and A&E Crime Central), TelevisaUnivision’s ViX+, The Athletic, Calm, Peloton, WW International, Duolingo, and Live Nation’s Veeps, a live streaming concert service.
In addition, +Play will also let customers purchase and manage accounts for Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+, discovery+, and AMC+ — services that Verizon already offers to eligible customers for no additional fee (for varying periods of time).
However, it’s not clear what the commercial relationships are between Verizon and the +Play partner companies, or whether users will be able to purchase subscriptions directly via +Play.
According to Manon Brouillette, EVP and CEO of Verizon Consumer Group, “+Play is a natural extension of our core strengths. [The new service will] further enhance our Mix & Match plan proposition by scaling choice through aggregation — choice of connectivity, choice of device, and now choice of content and digital services with added perks and offers in a one-stop-shop.” Brouillette also said that Verizon had structured the deals to take a per-subscriber revenue share.
Also, at the investor event, Verizon announced a partnership with Meta, the parent company of Facebook, which will explore the collaboration between VR and AR cloud rendering and low-latency streaming with Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network.