Verizon Aims for Netflix with New TV Web Service

VerizonVerizon Communications Inc is launching a new standalone service that will stream movies and television shows over the Internet which will operate in direct competition with companies like Netflix. Enjoying considerable brand recognition and an existing relationship with programming partners, the potential of this reality is pretty exciting!

Not to be discounted is the fact that this announcement validates the fact that the delivery of television and movie content is changing and recognizes the need to evolve in order to remain relevant.

Expected to launch in 2012, the new service will be available in areas currently out of reach for the existing Verizon FIOS broadband and television packages. This offering means extending the reach of the media giant to over 85 million households.

Exactly what will be included in the package is still in the rumor stages with some saying that the pickings will be slim. I think we can be fairly certain that Verizon will make it worth their customer’s while considering they aren’t exactly newcomers to this game. Not to mention that even a small initial offering gets Verizon into the game and allows them to work out the kinks while they ramp up future package options. There would appear to be advantages to both approaches.

So is Netflix scared? So far Netflix has only expressed apprehension about HBO as a competitor with both services spending between US $1 billion and $2 billion per year on content. Nonetheless every last one of them should keep their proverbial eyes open. Microsoft is also rumored to be lurking in the shadows with a television streaming service of their own and Internet veterans Inc and Google Inc are working on party-joining moves that could prove to disrupt as well.

Verizon FIOS customers already enjoy value-added access to over 30 networks via the Web.

[via Reuters]

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