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Telecom giant Verizon is happy with the customer response to content partnerships with the likes of Disney+, Discovery+ and Apple Music that it has offered certain subscribers for free for certain periods of time, its CEO said on Monday.
“We are positively surprised about the stickiness and how customers have stayed with the services and the retention,” including when rolling them over to paying service, Hans Vestberg told the virtual UBS Global Technology, Media and Telecom Conference.
“We are very happy with that model and there is probably more to be done there,” he reiterated. “We now have streaming services, we have gaming services, we have music services, and let’s see what we can do more.” He added that these bundles were “a key differentiator from anyone that is in the market” that provides customers “more value, more optionality.”
In September, Vestberg had told an investor event that Verizon sees room to add more content partnerships along the lines of its Disney+ and Discovery+ deals. “We see many more direct-to-consumer offerings,” he said at the time, explaining that providing streaming services was also “a revenue source for us and a profit source for us.” Vestberg described the deals for the streamers as win-win situations. “There might be more areas,” he concluded without providing details.
The telecom giant has been shifting its video focus away from FiOS TV to partnerships with third-party streaming services to position itself as a key distribution platform for them via broadband and mobile. For example, Verizon’s deal with Walt Disney for the Disney bundle gives customers with select Verizon unlimited plans access to Disney streaming services Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+.
In May, Verizon struck a $5 billion deal to sell Verizon Media, which included Yahoo and AOL, to private equity firm Apollo Global Management, which closed at the start of September. Verizon is retaining a 10 percent stake in the new company, called Yahoo.
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