Plus Play, Plus Netflix
As Verizon (VZ) looks to grow its Plus Play streaming platform, it is teaming up with industry-leader Netflix (NFLX). If customers subscribe to another service through the emerging streaming marketplace, Verizon will give them a full year of Netflix for free.
Verizon positions itself as a neutral entity in the streaming sector. Its Plus Play platform is designed to be a user-friendly hub to access all your streaming subscriptions. But not all subscriptions are available through it. In order to get the free year of Netflix, customers must sign up for options like NFL+ Premium, the NFL’s streaming platform, or NBA League Pass, the streaming platform for the NBA. Other options include AMC+ (AMC), Peloton’s (PTON) workout app, and Calm’s subscription-based meditation app.
Netflix Needs Users
Netflix doesn’t routinely participate in promotions that grant free access to its platform if a user subscribes to a different streaming service. But that’s about to change, likely due to a desire to grow its subscriber base, which has flatlined over the past year.
Industry analysts say streaming companies are more incentivized to bundle or package their services with other competitors given the ease of switching back and forth between active subscriptions. So, Netflix hopes this program helps retain customers.
Verizon will also share data with the streaming giant. Netflix will see which content options users choose in order to get the free subscription, providing further insight into audience preferences.
The Bundling Bonus
Verizon and competing wireless carriers, such as T-Mobile (TMUS), have been offering streaming service promotions for years. Certain T-Mobile plans grant customers access to Netflix indefinitely, while others come with AppleTV+ (AAPL) and Paramount+ (PARA). Verizon also helped Disney+ (DIS) grow its user base during its 2019 launch by offering wireless customers a free one-year subscription to the streaming platform.
That trend is likely to continue, as Disney reports a higher rate of customer retention when bundling Disney+, ESPN+, and Hulu, as compared to individual sign-ups. Even retailing giant Walmart (WMT) got in on the action, offering Paramount+ to customers who join their Walmart+ membership program.
As streaming platforms become more centralized and act as quasi partners, the “new age” of TV may start to resemble the old — only you’ll be surfing platforms rather than channels.
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