The Internet service provider is nearing agreements with major content companies, and McAdam told the Journal he’s been having regular meetings with top executives from CBS, ABC, NBC, FOX, Dreamworks, and digital startups like Awesomeness TV.
Verizon’s service sounds like it would essentially be a direct competitor to Netflix. The advantage, however, is that Verizon’s offering would also be able to stream some live channels including content from major broadcasters and sporting events.
The reports come months after Verizon purchased Intel’s media division in January, a sector of the company that focused on developing cloud TV products and services. It’s possible that Verizon could be using these assets to develop its own viable alternative to cable. Intel was supposed to launch an internet TV service called OnCue last year, but the project was scrapped. Verizon bought the technology instead.
“I think over-the-top video is right around the corner,” McAdam’s said according to the Journal. “We’ve got the assets in place, and I don’t feel like we need an awful lot more.”
The news also comes as other tech companies are scrambling to come up with their own cord-cutting alternatives to cable. On Wednesday, for example, Sony signed a deal with Viacom that gives the company access to channels such as Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, and MTV for its own upcoming service, as Forbes reported.
McAdam also acknowledged that consumers are interested in more flexible options when streaming video on mobile devices. Consumers would rather pick and choose their favourite channels and shows than sift through hundreds of options.
Statistics have shown that services like Netflix and Hulu are already pulling some households away from cable television. According to a survey from Experian Marketing Services from earlier this year, households with a Netflix or Hulu subscription were nearly three times as likely not to have a cable subscription than the average household.
If Verizon does unveil its own Internet-based streaming service, it could move us one step closer to a future without traditional cable.