Verizon has wrapped up content deals for mobile video service

LAS VEGAS — In March, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam said he’d had “personal talks” with the CEOs of large content companies about partnering with them to take their content nationwide on Verizon’s mobile network, creating a mobile MSO.

Today, at Citi’s Global Internet, Media & Telecommunications conference here, he said Verizon had wrapped up negotiations and planned to launch a video service in the second half of 2015.

He didn’t reveal too many more details, but the company has been doggedly assembling the components it needs for a mobile MSO. It’s made three key purchases in the past 18 months, including CDN EdgeCast, Intel’s Internet TV play OnCue and encoding specialist UpLynk

McAdam’s No. 2, CFO Fran Shammo, spent much of the company’s Q3 2014 call with analysts talking about the potential for OTT and mobile video products, saying “As far as over the top goes, the way I look at this is, this is great for the customer; this is great for the industry… and, as we said before, we’re having discussions with a lot of content providers around innovative models going forward. I think this sets a lot of stage… it opens up a lot of doors and it’s something optimistic for the future of the video business.”

Meanwhile, McAdam yesterday also popped AOL’s short-lived rally on rumors that the telco was looking to acquire AOL or to conduct a joint venture related to mobile video.

“Saying we are having significant acquisition discussions is not accurate,” McAdam said.

Maybe “significant” is a little strong, but a deal likely has at least been talked about… and may still be up for discussion.

Stay tuned.

Jim O’Neill is Editor of Videomind and Principal Analyst at Brightcove. You can follow him on Twitter @JimONeillMedia and on LinkedIn