Verizon Wireless has a modern, fast LTE network and isn’t afraid to use it – it also has control over the one hundred million eyeballs able to view content provided via their network. That’s the message Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo said in an interview earlier this week, discussing Verizon’s plans for a digital video service that is being targeted at families and young viewers, as it’s these people who are more likely to view content on their device. Verizon’s up and coming mobile video service will offer highly targeted adverts, exclusive content and pay-per-view live concerts and sporting events. It’s a clever strategy of offering content that people want to watch on a supremely portable and personal form factor. The service will include some free sponsored content and will be offered through a mobile application, which Verizon Wireless customers can look forward to having pre-installed on devices soon!
Fran alluded to Verizon working on a sponsored data model at some point in the future as, “[this] will generate the usage and the eyeballs that are very appealing to advertisers.” Verizon’s acquisition of AOL earlier in the year for $4.4 billion will help the business push into mobile video, plus using the data it has already collected on its one hundred million customers. Fran alludes: “If you can accumulate customers who are very appealing to advertisers who are more apt to buy a specific product from a specific advertiser, that is more meaningful to an advertiser and they are willing to pay more dollars for that.” Fran explained that Verizon would collect and use customer data in such a way that it would not violate customer privacy.
One of the stumbling blocks for Verizon’s plans could be that customers generally do not like adverts, whereas sponsored content is “more palatable,” Jefferies & Co analyst Mike McCormack said. Verizon’s digital video service will offer content from the National Football League, DreamWorks Animation’s AwesomenessTV and Vice Media. By offering these services to customers, Verizon is also hoping to increase data usage, which will indirectly benefit the network as people upgrade contracts for a higher data allowance.