The internet-streaming bundle is here.
“We were first in the world to bring commercial 5G to our customers and now another first on the content front as we offer our customers access to YouTube TV on whatever platform they choose,” Erin McPherson, Verizon’s head of content strategy and acquisition, said in a press release.
Of course, customers already had access to YouTube TV on pretty much whatever platform they want, and Amazon expects to have a YouTube TV on Fire TVs “in the coming months.” Once that happens, every major streaming device will support the service, along with most smart TVs. This deal is about two things: locking Verizon customers into a TV/internet bundle by adding a live streaming service and promoting its 5G Home internet.
Introducing a Streaming and Internet Bundle
Verizon will presumably offer YouTube TV at a discounted rate, but the details are still scarce. Verizon only said that it will “offer unique, high-value YouTube TV promotions to customers across platforms.”
While this looks a lot like a traditional cable package for consumers, it should provide a much better value. Consumers in the U.S. spend an average of $107 per month on pay TV, according to Leichtman Research Group. YouTube TV is $50 per month and will likely be even less when bundled with Verizon internet. Leichtman also found that 73% of people who subscribe to a live streaming service like YouTube TV are “very satisfied” with their service. Verizon Fios currently offers TV and internet bundles for $80-95 per month for more than 150 channels, so it’s likely that bundles with YouTube TV’s 75 channels will be even cheaper.
Even with its recent price hikes, YouTube TV is still one of our favorite live streaming services on the market. When we analyzed which services offered the most channels that consumers actually want, according to TiVo’s video trends report, YouTube TV had more in the top 92 than any other service. What’s more, it offers the most generous perks in the business, with unlimited DVR storage and five simultaneous streams.
YouTube TV will Strengthen Verizon’s 5G Home Offerings
This news comes the same morning that Verizon released its first-quarter earnings report, which stated that Verizon would spend as much as $18 billion to expand its 5G network in 2019. The company was already offering three months of YouTube TV for free (and a free Apple TV or Chromecast) when you sign up for a 5G Home plan. This deal further cements that relationship.
“As we pave the path forward on 5G, we’ll continue to bring our customers options and access to premium content by teaming up with the best providers in the industry and leveraging our network as-a service strategy,” McPherson said in Verizon’s statement today. Enter YouTube TV. In order to convince customers to switch to 5G Home internet, Verizon needed a cable replacement for the TV side of the bundle. Now it has one.
The Bottom Line
As consumers untether themselves from traditional cable TV packages, we can expect to see more and more partnerships between streaming services and internet providers. While the biggest piece of the puzzle — how much this will actually cost — is still a question mark, more options isn’t a bad thing, especially in an industry where nearly half the country doesn’t have any choice at all.