Verizon has decided it wants to be the way that you pay for your streaming service, and it’s teaming up with Netflix to make it happen. The cell phone service provider has launched its streaming hub, called “+play,” which works as a one-stop shop for finding and subscribing to streaming services such as AMC+, NFL+, and the NBA League Pass. According to Hollywood Reporter, anyone who signs up for a streaming service through Verizon’s +play will get a free year of Netflix Premium, which usually costs $19.99 per month.
There are only a few subscriptions Verizon is offering that qualify for the free Netflix deal. To grab it, you need to either sign up for AMC+, Peloton App, Super Duolingo, Calm, NFL+, or NBA League Pass. There are other subscription services through Verizon, including HBO Max, Starz, and even Xbox Game Pass, but none of those would qualify you for the Netflix deal.
Verizon’s new promotion with Netflix is indicative of the company’s desire to find new revenue streams besides data and cell phone service plans. The company has decided to try out a similar strategy to Roku, which earns money acting as a so-called “middleman” for streaming services. Every subscription purchased through Roku gives the media player provider a portion of the purchase price. Amazon follows a similar strategy, offering streaming channels such as Discovery+, Starz, Showtime, and Curiosity Stream alongside its Prime Video service.
Verizon’s Netflix gambit is a hook to get customers used to using cell phone bills to pay for subscription services. If successful, it could be a lucrative add-on to Verizon’s already successful business model. It makes sense — most people already have a cell phone plan these days, and there’s only so much growth a company can achieve by trying to get customers to switch plans. The more ways they have to make money, the better for them.
However, while Verizon might get a boost in subscriptions thanks to the Netflix offer, the company has a ways to go if it hopes to compete with the likes of Roku and Amazon. While services like HBO Max, NFL+, and even Starz might be a decent draw, the +play service is a bit thin on offerings. While Roku offers access to almost any streaming service you can think of, and Amazon has a decent variety of big-name services, Verizon is stuck promoting the likes of Lifetime Movie Club, Wondrium, and ABC Mouse.
Even if not many of Verizon’s +play subscriptions catch your eye, the free Netflix deal might make it worth checking out. While Netflix is no longer the top streaming service thanks to the growing popularity of Prime Video, it still has an impressive repository of licensed and original content. Even if you don’t think it’s worth $240 for a year’s subscription, it might be worth paying a mere $83.88 to get it alongside an annual AMC+ subscription — or even a mere $25.99 to get the annual Netflix subscription alongside a seasonal subscription to NFL+ Premium.