Verizon last month launched its new subscription aggregator, +Play, into open beta, allowing its customers to purchase and manage subscriptions to over 20 services, including Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, HBO Max, ESPN+, Discovery+, AMC+, NFL+, NBA League NBA Pass and TV. But while the initial version of the service is expected to launch in late Q1/March exclusively for Verizon customers, the company confirmed today that the ultimate plan is to make +Play available to everyone – even non-Verizon customers.
Speaking at the Variety Summit at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Erin McPherson, Director of Road. But we start with our customer base,” she said.
“We have about 20 premium subscription services,” noted McPherson, adding that he expects that number to grow to “about 50” by the end of 2023. This growth, however, will not continue to expand to include the long tail of smaller serpentines, she explained.
“But this is not an attempt to aggregate applications from around the world – that’s not what we’re about. It will always remain a curated choice. We also hope to push the industry forward by creating consumer-centric bundles and offers with these services,” McPherson said.
Verizon ended the third quarter with a total of 122 million retail calls, and 25% of consumer wireless phone customers now have 5G-enabled devices. The consumer division counted 234,000 fixed wireless connections in the third quarter and 58,000 Fios Internet connections. The main mission of the company is to continue to grow, so this is also the endgame when it comes to the company’s media and content strategy.
McPherson suggested long-term plans could also include bundled services on its platform.
“Again, none of this has been announced yet – but think of a package where the customer could get a video subscription service, something related to health and wellness – because we offer Peloton and Calm. We can start working with delivery services – anything that is a monthly subscription,” she said.
One perk of +Play is a free year of Netflix Premium for customers who sign up for a subscription – something Verizon is helping to underwrite as a marketing initiative.
“Moving forward with Netflix, we’ll be doing other exciting things in this space in terms of thinking about where we’re going with next-gen – perhaps combining next-gen and other types of deals with all our partners. We have great trials. Think of it as our way of providing more value to our customers,” she said.
These types of offers will not be available anytime soon. Instead, when the service completes beta testing later this year, McPherson said Verizon will focus on improving “features and functionality, beautifying things, and removing friction points in the shopping flow.”
Verizon, when asked for comment, confirmed that a plan to bring +Play to non-Verizon customers had not been previously announced.
“At this point, all platform evolution options are on the table,” the spokesperson said, adding more announcements about the platform coming later this year.