Netflix is reportedly going to get another competitor in the form of Verizon. According to Reuters, Verizon plans to release an online streaming service sometime in 2012. One of the most interesting facts regarding this announcement is Verizon plans to release its streaming video service in areas where potential customers don’t have access to Verizon FiOS television and internet. By doing this, Verizon will spread its influence much farther in the competitive online video market. Also, by releasing a streaming service for customers that can’t get FiOS, Verizon is not risking cannibalizing its own television service.
Although specific content partners are not confirmed, Verizon’s offerings could be slim compared to Netflix when it launches. People familiar with the subject say Verizon may offer something similar to Starz Play. Content geared towards younger audiences may also be on the table from companies such as Viacom and Disney,
At this point, trying to go toe-to-toe with Netflix right out the gate will be difficult for any company due to the enormous amount of content Netflix has. Verizon may have a better chance at acquiring a large number of customers if it concentrated on getting content that Netflix doesn’t, or won’t offer in the future (like Starz programming). That way, Verizon can offer a service that can complimentary to Netflix.