- The oft-delayed Verizon TV streaming service is likely not going to happen.
- Verizon’s CEO said that the company is moving on from the concept to a different strategy.
- The likely reasoning for the change is that Verizon is too late to the game, as competitors already dominate the market.
For over a year now, there’s been discussion of a Verizon TV streaming service to compete with Dish’s Sling TV, AT&T’s DirecTV Now, Google’s YouTube TV, and Sony’s PlayStation Vue. The oft-delayed service was last reported to be landing sometime this year, but now it looks like Verizon TV (or whatever it would have been called) is dead in the water.
This information comes from a video interview Verizon’s CEO Lowell McAdam gave to Yahoo Finance earlier this week (Verizon owns Yahoo). In the video, McAdam says that the plan now is for Verizon to instead partner with pre-existing companies to distribute content from Oath, the Verizon branch that owns Yahoo and AOL.
“Our view is that we should partner with those that are in the linear game,” McAdam says in the interview. “Let them be very good at what they do. We’ll add digital content into that mix, and we’ll position ourselves for where we become more of an over-the-top video culture versus the linear model that we have today.”
McAdam also said, in a statement straight out of 2012, “I think the linear model is dead,” referring to traditional cable television services.
As much as Verizon knows now that streaming TV services are the way of the future, the company is incredibly late to the game. No matter how the CEO tries to spin it, the likely reason it isn’t going to release its own streaming TV service is that the market is already too crowded. With so many options for consumers, it would be hard to nab market share and would also limit the company’s ability to have its own pricing structure.
With that in mind, Verizon’s new strategy of instead partnering with other services to offer Oath content is a smart move. However, it certainly isn’t as smart as it would have been to have launched a streaming TV service years ago.
What these statements from Verizon’s CEO mean for its own “linear” cable services it offers through Fios remains unclear.