John Moe Dec 7, 2011

Verizon is reportedly considering launching an online movie and TV streaming service to rival Netflix, reaching out to several media companies about acquiring content. If this happens, still an if, Verizon would join a crowded marketplace, dominated by Netflix but also featuring Amazon and Dish Network. It kind of reminds me of the early days of e-commerce when everyone was trying to take their retail online but Amazon got there first, stumbled a few times, but ultimately emerged pretty strong. I can’t help wonder if Netflix is the Amazon in this scenario.

As for what angle Verizon would take here, The Wall Street Journal reaches out to its favorite source, Person Familiar With The Matter:

A person familiar with Verizon’s thinking said recently that the company could offer streaming video content as an enhancement to plain-vanilla landline Internet service in areas where Verizon doesn’t offer its FiOS fiber-optic cable-TV service. In areas where Verizon does offer FiOS, Verizon is thinking about offering specific genres of content as streaming packages so as not to cannibalize lucrative TV subscriptions, this person said. Its FiOS TV and Internet service, for instance, is only available to about 14% of U.S. households, according to Sanford C. Bernstein. Verizon’s majority-owned wireless service, however, is national.

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.