With AT&T recently offering free HBO subscriptions to its Unlimited Choice and Unlimited Plus customers, and T-Mobile offering free Netflix subscriptions to those on its T-Mobile ONE family plan with two or more lines, you would think that Verizon might take notice. Verizon chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam has certainly paid attention, but does not seem too bothered by the moves.
In an interview with CNBC, McAdam stressed that Verizon cares more about building out its network than bonus add-ons. According to McAdam, Verizon’s competitors lost 75 percent of their networks when Hurricane Harvey hit Houston compared to only two percent for Big Red:
I don’t know that you have to give away something that has value in order to sell your service. That’s the edges we’re going around at this point. …At the end of the day, customers will buy based on their experience, doing what they need to do, not whether they have Netflix or not.
McAdam also said that Verizon is not concerned over AT&T scooping up Time Warner, since these is no need for Big Red to spend that much money in order to negotiate a deal:
If we wanted to offer something like HBO, we can call (CBS CEO Les Moonves) and get Showtime in a commercial arrangement. I don’t need to own the content in order to prove that to customers.
McAdam certainly has opinions on the subject, but it’s not like Verizon gets off scot-free, either. It is a bit strange that Big Red talks about having a strong and reliable network, yet was seemingly forced to throttle all of its mobile customers’ video streaming quality because of the pressure that unlimited data customers were supposedly placing on the network.
We also can’t ignore Verizon’s own purchases of AOL and Yahoo for a combined $8.88 billion, with the carrier forming a subsidiary called Oath that serves as AOL’s and Yahoo’s parent company.
Either way, let us know in the comments whether you think that McAdam is in the right, wrong, or somewhere in between.