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Verizon prepares for launch of streaming platform +play

Nov 30, 2022
Illustration of a television test pattern made of hundred dollar bills.

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Verizon is gearing up to publicly launch +play, a streaming platform that aggregates subscription services, by the year's end, Verizon executives told Axios at an event Tuesday night.

Why it matters: Instead of managing owned and operated brands, +play employs a different strategy by partnering with other media companies to sell their products.

How it works: The pitch for +play is it will help consumers — specifically Verizon customers — "discover, purchase and manage" their subscription services, the executives said.

  • In March, Verizon announced +play at an investor event and named partners like Disney+, Netflix and Peloton. Since then, Verizon has signed more deals to include services like HBO Max and NFL+.
  • The platform will launch with more than 20 services, says Jake Cohen, head of business development and strategy for Verizon's content division.
  • "It's curated, for sure," Cohen says. "But I think you'll continue to see us rolling out new partners on a fairly regular basis."

Yes, but: The competition for channel stores like +play is abundant and growing. Roku, Amazon and Apple all offer similar services.

What to watch: Verizon is betting on the success it's already had promoting and selling other services.

  • Todd Oberstein, head of consumer content strategy and products, says about 20% of Disney+'s subscriptions during its first year were through Verizon.
  • Verizon reported in January 2021 that more than two-thirds of its Disney+ subscribers kept the service after a one-year free trial.
  • "We've proved that there is adjacency there," Oberstein says.
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