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Verizon set to strengthen content offerings with OTT video service and IoT platform

Tim Maytom

Verizon is reportedly working on two new services that will see the carrier continue to expand beyond its basic mobile and broadband connectivity offerings and attempt to compete with firms like Amazon, Netflix and others.

According to TechCrunch, a source inside the company has confirmed that the mobile operator is planning an 'over the top' video offering, as well as a connected home product that will give residential customers a platform to manage devices like smart heating, light and alarm systems.

Verizon, which owns AOL and Yahoo, has already been exploring providing more content across its existing platforms, having signed a landmark deal with the NFL to stream games late last year. Work on a new unified video service offering has reportedly been held up by executive changes at the firm and negotiations around content, but the new OTT offering would supposedly focus on packaging video content into 'channels' which would take the form of standalone apps. The channels, which would include news, sports and entertainment, would bring together content from Verizon's extensive family of brands including the Huffington Post, Engadget and others.

The new offering would be distinct from Go90, the free, ad-supported video platform that Verizon already operates. Aimed largely at millennial audiences, Go90 has been in operation since 2015 and has been met with mixed success.

The move into IoT and connected home technology would indicate that Verizon is attempting to keep pace with rival broadband providers, which are also entering this space. Both Comcast and Tivo have announced connected home platforms in the past week, and recent stats from Berg Insight indicate that the world's top 10 mobile operators control around 75 per cent of the cellular IoT market.

Verizon has made a number of acquisitions in the IoT space, and while much of its purchases appeared to be initially aimed at the company's enterprise business, it may well look to leverage the technology in the residential market too.

Plans for both potential services are still in their early stages, with nothing officially announced and no clear indicators of when the products will be launched.