As the streaming wars continue to rage, companies are increasingly forming alliances with other media giants to lure customers. The latest example of this trend is Verizon offering its customers a free, one-year subscription to Netflix's premium plan.
The telecom giant on Wednesday announced that Netflix is now available on the beta version of its +play streaming marketplace, which places the OG streamer alongside newer rivals such as Disney+ and HBO Max.
"We’re partnering with Netflix to offer customers all of their favorite content and a special offer only available in +play," said Erin McPherson, the chief content officer for Verizon, in a press release. "This is a huge milestone for Verizon and the industry as a whole, and we’re incredibly proud to continue to be trailblazers in the new era of content and subscription services.”
The partnership comes as Netflix struggles to retain and grow its subscriber base. While the streamer beat estimates in the third quarter with the addition of 2.4 million new subscribers, growth remains slow by historical standards. “Thank God we’re done with shrinking quarters,” co-Chief Executive Reed Hastings said during the earnings call.
This could explain why Netflix is now looking to other streaming platforms to draw customers — a more collaborative approach that it avoided for much of its history.
The +play content hub is available to Verizon mobile, 5G Home, and LTE Home customers and also features services such as NFL+, NBA League Pass, and AMC+.
For Verizon, the partnership is a play to make it a one-stop shop for streaming.
“The exclusive relationships Verizon has with the top subscription services and content providers, coupled with our distribution scale and customer retention, differentiates us and makes us the partner of choice for providers and customers alike,” McPherson said. “On +play, customers can get savings and value they can’t access anywhere else and our content providers get vast distribution and stickiness that’s beyond reproach.”
The partnership isn't entirely new territory for Netflix, though. T-Mobile in 2017 started offering the service for free with some of its top-tier wireless plans. But the deal was exclusive at the time. Now it offers similar deals with AppleTV+ and Paramount+.