Verizon Announces FreeBee Sponsored Data Program
Verizon Wireless today revealed FreeBee Data, a program that will allow consumers to access select data without it counting against their monthly data bucket. The program has two business models, according to Verizon, and both target content providers more so than end users. FreeBee Data 360 allows content providers to let consumers access some of all of their app/web content at no cost to the consumer. The content providers will be charged on a per gigabyte basis for what consumers use. The second tier, called FreeBee Data, is less intensive and lets content providers sponsor specific consumer actions per click, such as streaming music or watching mobile videos. Verizon is launching FreeBee Data 360 on a trial basis beginning today, which allows content providers to target Verizon's entire post-paid customer base. The FreeBee Data program kicks of January 25. Verizon says a few brands have already signed up for this pay-per-click service, including Hearst, AOL, and Gameday. Verizon is limiting tests of this to just 1,000 customers initially, with a commercial launch expected later in the year. Sponsored content will be signified by the presence of the FreeBee icon (a bee), which will appear next to content links. AT&T has a more limited of sponsored data available to its customers, and T-Mobile offers zero-rated access to select streaming music and video services though its Music Freedom and Binge On programs.
Verizon's Sponsored Video Content Goes Live This Week
Verizon Wireless customers will be able to watch go90 video content for free beginning this week, according to CFO Fran Shammo. Verizon first said it would zero-rate the go90 video content early last month thanks to support from its FreeBee Data 360 sponsored data service.
Verizon Zero-Rates Its Go90 Video App
Verizon Wireless today updated its go90 video app and will allow customers to stream all the go90 content they want over LTE without it impacting their data bucket. The go90 app is making use of Verizon's FreeBee Data 360 sponsored data service, which Verizon launched last month.
Verizon to Offer Sponsored Data
Verizon Wireless is prepared to test sponsored data, according to vice president Marni Walden. The program will allow businesses to sponsor apps or content that is accessed by customers on Verizon's network.
FCC Sees Potential for Harm in Zero-Rated Data Schemes
The FCC today took AT&T and Verizon to task for their zero-rated video services and said they may in fact be harmful to the market. The agency has spent time evaluating each of the zero-rated offerings from AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless.
T-Mobile Adds YouTube to Binge On
T-Mobile today added several new video content partners to its Binge On service, including YouTube. T-Mobile customers can now stream an unlimited amount of YouTube content to their smartphone over T-Mobile's cellular network without impacting their monthly data bucket.