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What Spectrum Crisis: Verizon Wireless Tries to Monetize Video Usage With New App

Verizon encourages customers to pig out on wireless-delivered streaming video.

Despite claims of a looming data usage crisis created by insufficient wireless spectrum, Verizon Wireless is introducing a new app that will encourage customers to find and watch streaming video on their mobile devices.

Viewdini premiers today on the Android platform, and Verizon hopes customers will use it to hunt down their favorite videos from Netflix, Hulu Plus, mSpot, and Comcast Xfinity, all from the Verizon Wireless app.

“We are just seeing a hunger for people wanting to watch video,” Verizon Wireless CEO Dan Mead said in an interview with AllThingsD. “I think this will capture the audience’s imagination.”

If customers use it to stream bandwidth heavy video on a tiered data plan, Verizon will also have the customer’s attention when the bill arrives.

Viewdini, considered one of Verizon’s “key product launches” for the year, does not amount to much on examination. The service does not host videos, it merely indexes them from other videocentric websites. The app will be exclusive to Verizon Wireless, but is not the company’s first foray in the competitive video streaming marketplace.

The Verizon Video app offers streamed video entertainment, but with a twist. Many titles offered by Verizon Video cannot be accessed while on Wi-Fi and require the company’s 3G or 4G network to watch, which counts against your usage allowance.

Mead

There is no indication yet whether Viewdini will have similar restrictions.

While Mead claims the company has several early warning indicators for customers approaching their monthly usage cap, he admits the company hopes to make additional revenue from customers who choose to exceed their allowance and buy additional data.

“We look at it as great flexibility for customers,” Mead called that choice.

While Verizon joins other wireless carriers in calling urgently for additional wireless spectrum, its marketing department does not recognize any wireless data shortage, and continues to introduce new products that encourage their customers to use an increasing amount of data, from which Verizon admits it will earn an increasing percentage of its revenue.

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  • Rob: With Time Warner issuing their "all-digital" notice to customers this week to all the Rochester, NY news outlets, does this mean we can expect the upg...
  • Ryan: Frontier needs to be sued for false advertising of fios. They ran commercials on TV and radio that fios is here but in reality its not. We wanted fios...
  • Jim Dudenhefer III: See previous. 5:21 AM Central Time. Kansas City, MO. Cell # 816-560-0537. Land Line # 816-523-2309....
  • Jim Dudenhefer III: I live with and assist my 88 year old mother and 92 year old father. Both don't drive. Dad's mind is going and Mom's getting very tired as the main ca...
  • Ty: well hey on top of all of this I am sure more cable companies will adopt data caps. WOW! (my current cable company that overbuilt TWC here and I left...
  • Kim: I am currently paying TWC $180 a month for tv, internet, and home phone. I recently tried calling to have my home phone removed, since both my daughte...
  • James R Curry: No guarantee at all. But, as there's no contract commitment, you can at least cancel if they gut the line-up....
  • Required: Much more expensive than Hulu or Netflix, doesn't let you time-shift (VOD) all the shows/movies,, and doesn't solve the local news/sports problem, rea...
  • JayS: Looks like the era of the CVNO (CableTv Virtual Network Operator) has arrived. MVNO's have been terrific for the Mobile-phone consumer. We now have nu...
  • Gregory Blajian: A quick analysis for my wife and my entertainment situation is below. Getting Starz and MLB Network plus the A&E and Viacom family of channels mig...
  • Elbert Davis: Your last paragraph is exactly why Armstrong Cable cord-cutters cannot have this--200GB a month is all we're allowed to have until we have to pay Arms...
  • ANgela Hill: Did you get anywhere with this? I am about to do the same thing myself. My bill is $170 month, and I cannot do it any longer....

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