Verizon no longer intends to offer its own over-the-top (OTT) TV solution. This is based on comments provided by the company’s CEO, Lowell McAdam, during a Yahoo Finance interview which took place earlier in the week. The interview touched on many Verizon-relevant aspects, including 5G, although when asked about the importance of content, McAdam conceded Verizon will not bring to market its own dedicated OTT solution.
This is not the same as Verizon giving up on OTT in general, however, as during the same interview McAdam confirmed it is more of a switch in direction with Verizon now looking to partner with an existing solution instead of building out its own. With McAdam stating Verizon would prefer to “let them [the partner] be very good at what they do.” This was further padded out by McAdam stating the preference was to partner with a linear provider with Verizon adding the digital element to the proceedings. Which is a point to note as it seems likely Verizon views the latter (digital) as a replacement of the former (linear) in the long-term. As McAdam also explained that in his view although the linear model is now “dead,” it will “take a long time to die.”
Specific details were not provided during the interview on what the OTT service will offer, although there were some suggestions with McAdam stating Verizon will “bet” on aspects like finance, news, and sports, as well as “limited entertainment.” Also of note, while no specific mention of who the partner provider will be, McAdam did confirm it is already talking with a number of possible partners with the view Verizon will pick and announce/launch the OTT service during the fourth quarter of 2018. These comments follow on from very similar comments made last week by Verizon’s Chief Financial Officer, Matthew Ellis. With the slight difference that Ellis’ comments more alluded to the idea Verizon was exploring its options and was postponing the launch during this reflection period, compared to McAdam’s comment which now seem to suggest the decision has been made to partner with someone else. In either case, when the service does launch, McAdams expects it to be “a bit hit from the customer perspective.”