Telecom giant AT&T (T) and Verizon Communications (VZ) are the two companies that have made bold promises to roll out commercial 5G services later this year. Verizon has picked Sacramento as the first city for the introduction of its commercial 5G launch. And now it appears that Verizon is on a hunt for a video streaming partner and is reportedly eyeing a partnership either with YouTube or Apple online TV.
The latest report from Bloomberg claims that Verizon has approached Google (GOOGL) and Apple (AAPL) for this partnership. This would help the operator to offer streaming services to its subscribers when it launches 5G later this year. The negotiations are said to be in the early stage and could break down at any time.
Verizon, which acquired AOL and Yahoo, had announced last year that it is working on over-the-top video offering. Verizon said that it doesn’t plan to launch its own live-TV internet service anytime soon.
However, Google’s YouTube looms as a more likely internet video partner, because Apple TV is just an interface that offers access to thousands of apps. Verizon’s decision to seek help from outside makes sense considering its in-house mobile video service go90 was a big failure. Despite spending millions on go90 video app, the company was forced to pull the plug on the service in less than three years after its launch, as it struggled to find an audience.
At a recent JPMorgan conference held in Boston, the company’s CFO Matt Ellis stated, “The debut of 5G online TV with either Google’s YouTube TV or Apple TV will be used to showcase the technology and mark Verizon’s first competitive live TV venture outside its predominantly East Coast service area”, source Bloomberg. He, however, emphasized that this partnership is only temporary until Verizon gets familiar with online video streaming.