Verizon would eventually like to sell other SVODs through a digital storefront for its upcoming streaming TV service, but first the company has to overcome holdups that are delaying the service’s launch.
According to Bloomberg, Verizon has had to push back the rollout of its virtual MVPD, which would compete directly with services like DirecTV Now and Sling TV. The launch has been pushed back from summer to fall and could move even further out due to Verizon’s difficulty completing deals with programming partners. The report doesn’t specify what is derailing those talks.
Also throwing a wrench in Verizon’s plans are the recent exits of Verizon executives. Ben Grad, Verizon’s executive director of content strategy and acquisition, recently left the company to join streaming TV service FuboTV. Go90’s Chip Canter also left Verizon, leaving former Yahoo exec Erin McPherson in charge of negotiations for the new streaming service.
If or when Verizon does get its streaming TV service off the ground, its plan to offer other SVODs through a digital storefront could help to give it the differentiation from other vMVPDs that it promised.
Marni Walden, executive vice president and president of media and telematics, told investors earlier this month that Verizon is putting quality ahead of quantity of content in developing its streaming TV service.
“Originals are important and sports are really important. But we don’t want to do just a ‘me too’ thing out there. You’re going to see us do things in a different way. It’s definitely not about quantity though. There are some things you have to have but we’re not looking for the kitchen sink on this one,” Walden said.
If Verizon were to offer a package of channels like CBS and ESPN as well as offer SVODs like Netflix that could be purchased and integrated through its platform—similar to what Comcast has done with its X1 platform—it would give Verizon a feature not currently being offered by other vMVPDs.