Verizon Communications Goes "Skinny" with Linear Video Bundle

Eventually, customers in competitive markets get what they want.

Though many would contest the characterization of the linear video business as “competitive,” it appears to be competitive enough to spur moves in the direction of giving people “what they want, when they want it.”

That is why over the top streaming services are proliferating. Another sign of the change is the move to create “skinny” bundles of linear channels that cost less, since consumers are signaling by their behavior that they consider the existing product too expensive, compared to the value they receive.

Verizon Communications, for example, has launched a new "Custom TV" bundle featuring high speed access and 36 basic (ad-supported) channels, with the option to buy genre-based channel packs, such as a sports bundle or kids channels.

Users can add extra packs for $10 each, or swap or unsubscribe any pack after 30 days. Verizon has seven channel packs in total.

Starting April 19, 2015, consumers will be able to sign up for a package of TV channels including broadcasters such as ABC and Fox, CNN, AMC, Food Network. They can then add on “channel packs” covering various genres such as sports, kids, pop culture and lifestyle.

FiOS’s cheapest plan will cost $55 a month and will include two channel packs. Each additional package, which can consist of about 10 to 17 channels, will cost $10 a month.

A package featuring the base package, two channel packs and 50 Mbps Internet access service costs $75 a month.

Though not a full move to a la carte pricing and buying of linear channels, the Verizon move is part of a trend that eventually will lead to new sets of choices that more closely resemble full choice, channel by channel or program by program.
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