– Dec. 14th 2022 4:44 am PT
Verizon is offering both new and existing customers free Netflix for a year – if they sign up to another streaming service too.
The offer is intended to promote Verizon +play, a service that lets customers manage all their streaming subscriptions in one place …
The WSJ reports.
Verizon said new and existing customers on postpaid wireless plans or with 5G wireless home internet service can receive a year of Netflix’s $19.99 a month premium tier if they buy a year-long or season-long subscription to one of several other services through +play […]
The services that are part of Verizon’s Netflix deal include NFL+ Premium, the National Football League’s streaming service; NBA League Pass, which lets users watch some professional basketball games live; the meditation app Calm; the workout app Peloton; the language-learning app Duolingo; and AMC+, the main streaming service of AMC Networks Inc.
As the piece notes, Verizon is one of a number of companies trying to insert itself as a middleman between streaming services and customers. Customers pay the same fee as usual, while Verizon takes an Apple-style cut from the services. The +play service was launched back in March.
The fact that Netflix is on board with this is a sign of desperation by a video-on-demand service that has already lost well over a million subscribers this year, and could lose another 25% by the end of the year.
Netflix has been trying to stem the tide by cracking down on password sharing, and launching a cheaper ad-supported tier. The company has also been trying to buy-up exclusive sports streaming deals in response to Apple’s own moves in this area.
Apple TV+ is slowly applying pressure to Netflix. While it can’t compete with Netflix on quantity of content, it is challenging on quality, while also gradually increasing its catalog, including older content for the first time.
There is something else in it for Netflix: access to customer data on competing services.
As part of its deal with Verizon, Netflix gets to find out which of the streaming services customers chose to pay for in order to get the free promotion. That information could, for example, give it a sense of demand for sports content among the new customers the deal brings in.
Verizon’s offer of free Netflix for a year is currently available to around 30M customers.
Photo: Venti Views/Unsplash
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Apple TV is Apple's streaming device that accesses the Apple TV+ service ($4.99 per month), Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Amazon Prime, and countless other entertainment apps.
Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!
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