Verizon’s launch of discovery+ in the U.S. on January 4, 2021 will continue the strategy of introducing new streaming services free for an extended period. The service will be available to new customers on Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband mobile, 5G Home Internet and Fios for a year.
Verizon says that discovery+, which began its 25 nation rollout with the U.K., Ireland and India, includes content from the Discovery channel, HGTV, BBC’s Natural History, TLC and Group Nine, among others.
The company says that the 55,000 available titles are the most ever for a streaming service launch. New original programming will also be included.
The new streaming service is normally priced at $4.99/month with ads, or $6.99/month without. Each account will include up to five user profiles and four concurrent streams.
Parks Associates said last month that the streaming landscape has become more competitive. While the three leaders — Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu – remain, the rest of the top ten is fluid as more compelling and targeted services emerge and multi-service households grow.
“Connecting people to their passions is at the core of what we do, and adding discovery+ on us is a phenomenal way to serve customers who love lifestyle, home, food, true crime and natural history content from one of the popular portfolios of video brands,” said Ronan Dunne, CEO of Verizon Consumer Group in a press release. “Our Mix & Match plans already offer unrivaled value in entertainment, so we’re excited to kick off 2021 by giving customers up to 12 months of discovery+, adding even more value and choice as we continue to build our ecosystem of incredible partners and services.”
Verizon and any nascent streaming service have a win-win relationship and great incentive to partner: The streaming service gains access to millions of potential subscribers and the carrier improves its content offerings. In October, 2019, Disney+ entered a similar agreement with Verizon. That deal, also for a year, included 4G and 5G mobile subscribers.
In August 2018, Verizon offered its 5G in-home fixed wireless customers the choice between a free Apple TV 4K device and free YouTube TV service for a period of time.
Last month, Verizon announced Stream TV, an updated streaming device. The Android device provides access to Disney+, Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu and other services.