Verizon is working to increase the number of connected devices that can access its live and on-demand streaming channels, and it plans to finally bring its live iPad app to market later in 2012. The company could also expand to LG smart TVs soon, according to SVP of Consumer Product Management Eric Bruno.
In an interview at the Consumer Electronics Show on Thursday, Bruno said Verizon was committed to rolling out streaming services to connected devices, but that the operator was taking a cautious approach in doing so. It recently unveiled an app for the Xbox 360 that makes 26 live channels available through the game console, and today announced an app for connected TVs and Blu-ray players from Samsung.
Bruno said Verizon wanted to ensure that its network could provide the same five-nines type of reliability with those streaming services as its IPTV services. That’s one reason that the live iPad app — which was first announced about a year and a half ago — has yet to actually come to market.
As for what Verizon looks for when it contemplates building an app for connected devices, Bruno said it does a lot of research comparing demographics before working on them. It’s also interested in extending relationships with existing partners on the mobile side, like Samsung and LG. After letting slip that LG was one partner Verizon was working with, Bruno confirmed that the manufacturer’s connected device were on his wish list for future implementations.
The company has seen some interesting usage from the rollout of its first connected app on the Xbox 360. According to Bruno, viewing on Xbox Live typically spikes after primetime hours, between 11:00 pm and 2:00 am. The reason? Based on the demographics of Xbox users, the Verizon exec believes those viewers are tuning in after gaming sessions, or after they’ve retired to their bedrooms from watching TV with family. In a sense, the Xbox is acting as a set-top box for users where they might not have had one before.
While Verizon is busy building out connected apps for its subscribers to watch on more devices, it’s also considering over-the-top VOD services that could extend its reach beyond its current subscriber base. Over the past few years, Verizon has rolled out IPTV services that cover about a third of the addressable TV households in the U.S., Bruno said. Making its FlexView streaming VOD service available over-the-top to those outside its footprint will allow it to adress the other 67 percent.