In the past two weeks, Verizon has added 27 live channels to its mobile app, with 12 being available for out of home streaming. Move marks a bold increase in the group's TV Everywhere strategy. With the boost in live out of home channels, Verizon surpassed Comcast's live out-of-home offering and narrowed the gap with AT&T
On September 25, Verizon added 10 live streaming channels to its mobile app and announced on October 8, that it added 17 additional live streaming channels. Verizon now boasts 64 live out-of-home channels and over 160 live in-home channels on its FiOS mobile app, which is available on iPad, iPhone, Android devices and Kindle Fire tablets. The FiOS mobile app will also get another boost in live linear channels in 2015 due to its recently struck carriage renewal deal with Viacom
A further boost will come from the recent Verizon and Viacom carriage renewal pact announced October 1. It includes in and out of the home access to live and on-demand content from early next year for 25 of Viacom’s networks. While Viacom’s major networks are already available for live streaming in the FiOS app, it's restricted to just in-the-home, the new pact will make all of Viacom’s channels available for out-of-home streaming. In addition, FiOS customers will have access to Viacom’s authenticated TV Everywhere web portals and apps, which are currently available for 8 Viacom networks.
The march among US pay TV operators toward a true TV Everywhere ecosystem continues, and Verizon's addition of 12 out of home channels brings it one step closer to fruition. Of course TV Everywhere in its current form is a misnomer, as most TV everywhere products are still available solely inside the home, but this is changing. The amount of content which is available for streaming outside the home is growing at a slow but steady pace.
While the transition toward true TV Everywhere services are not likely to re-capture cord-cutters, or make subscribers out of cord-nevers, it is likely to build loyalty in existing subscribers. Before the arrival of the 27 channels, Verizon has been somewhat behind the curve when compared with other major operators' TV Everywhere offerings. While it is gaining traction in its live linear channel offerings, when it comes to DVR content, it still remains behind Comcast, Dish and DIRECTV, all of which offer DVR streaming via mobile devices and ability to download DVR content to mobile devices for offline viewing.
IHS believes that Verizon is more akin to a mature pay TV operator, rather than an upstart. The company has a video penetration of nearly 35% of all homes passed, and is finding subscriber acquisition a more difficult proposition than in years passed. IHS believes that Verizon must continue to upgrade its TV Everywhere services in order to compete in markets which it shares with incumbents like TWC.
As Verizon continues to mature it will need to continue to expand it's TV Everywhere offering to remain competitive. This is especially true given the fact that incumbent cable operators may soon gain the ability to roll out Sling via Arris set-top boxes- which allows customers to stream 100% of content outside the home.