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FiOS TV – Why One Million People Have Signed Up

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Last week Verizon announced it has topped one million customers for its FiOS TV service. The announcement hit the wires a mere seven months after the operator reached the same milestone for its high-speed Internet offering.

As far as TV goes, Verizon’s major differentiator comes from the fact that it’s building out fiber to the home. However, unlike with the FiOS Internet service, the benefits of that fiber network aren’t really being felt yet. Ultimately fiber gives Verizon more flexibility to ramp up HD and VOD content, but at the moment Verizon isn’t offering up volumes of content that its competitors aren’t delivering as well. So what’s with the million subscribers? Why are people signing up for FiOS TV?

I have my own thoughts on the subject, but I thought I’d ask an official expert for his opinion. Here is what Evan Groat, senior product manager at Motorola for Verizon, had to say.

Why do you think FiOS TV has been successful?
I think there are a few reasons why it has been successful. First I would have to say that it delivers on what consumers have wanted to see since the first DVR came on the market, namely Whole Home DVR. This is a great feature that gives consumers access to the content they have recorded around the home. Motorola has worked with Verizon for the past three years on deploying this technology and Verizon has a significant lead in the industry.

Another factor is the combination of Voice, Video and Data all in one service. Once again this is making it easier for consumers by combining services they already know today into a single bill.

Lastly I would have to say that Verizon’s focus on HD content and services is the right message for consumers. HD content combined with great video quality makes a compelling offer.

What should people know about Verizon’s TV service that they might not know already?
Verizon has recently launched IMG nationwide. They are the only operator that has aggressively been pushing new features through a compelling user interface. Over the next few years I would expect that Verizon will be very active in enhancing the experience of FIOS TV. Motorola will be working over the next year on the release of a new platform that will allow the continued enhancement of IMG.

Knowing you’re not a representative of Verizon, what do you think we’ll see with the FiOS TV service in the next year? Two years? Five years?
I believe Verizon is in the best position to make the promises of seamless mobility a reality. They have shown the power of bringing voice, data, and video together. The future will be the addition of wireless and the portability of content. These are both areas that are core to Motorola and we look forward to working with partners like Verizon to bring this to consumers.

6 Responses

  1. Very interesting Q+A. More from this Evan guy, please.

  2. They have sold a million because they are good at selling it, not through any “compelling user interface” that the PR doofus is pitching in the article above. I would bet large sums of money that more than 50% of the current users (and 100% of the former DirectTV users) are dissatisfied with the FIOS DVR.

    Personally, I feel ripped off and have told anyone and everyone not to get FIOS TV if they want to use a DVR. (I say this as someone who has FIOS internet and Verizon Cell Phones and am very satisfied with them.) Though I didn’t know it at the time, the sales guy at the Verizon store was either lying or just had no clue. Either way, there’s no excuse. I’m not paying $80 a month to be a beta tester.

    I suppose I could live with the slow-responding, clunky interface but I’m not going to when I can get more capacity and more HD channels at another service provider that has performed for me in the past.

    The topper is that I can’t find anywhere outside of (other posts on) this blog where a Verizon rep acknowledges the problems. I might be a little more patient if the company gave me accurate forecasts as to when problems would be addressed and channels would be added.

  3. JayDub- Agreed that there are problems. But:

    1. Verizon has pushed the envelope with both the IMG interface and the multi-room DVR app. I hope they get all the kinks worked out of the interface, but having tested it myself, there’s an awful lot I like about it – the search capabilities, the options for different modes of data input (keyboard, predictive text, scroll wheel, etc.), and the widgets in particular. Plus, it’s the sharpest guide I’ve seen to date, a very good design model in my opinion.

    2. Believe it or not, most people don’t need to see everything in HD yet. Yes, there is a vocal minority that is howling for HD everything. But, Verizon’s HD line-up is competitive, even if it’s not the best. For most people, that, plus the fact that more HD is coming, is enough. And ultimately, Verizon has the capacity for huge HD growth.

    I don’t meant to sound like a Verizon fangirl, but I don’t disagree with most of what Evan says above. Just my own opinion, of course. And I love to hear others. :)

  4. Mari-
    Of course you are correct. The potential is exciting. I just wish they had worked out more of the kinks before releasing the product or their salespeople were more informed about exactly where the product stood. I don’t like being told “everything is great!” when there are still so many kinks being worked out. As I said, I just have a bad taste in my mouth right now but it’s nothing a little accurate information about what Verizon is planning and when would go a long way towards keeping me from switching…especially with regard to expected HD channels. (Or in the absence of that, at least use the “loss leader” approach and keep it cheap enough for me that I’d be willing to put up with more.)

    Maybe I’m just spoiled by my HD fetish, but it’s hard for me to accept that there are HD channels out there that I’m not getting and it’s not a result of technological limitations. (I know…”effin Waaaaah!”)

    At this stage in it’s development the “apples to apples” comparison against other similarly priced products is no contest. When I execute my world domination plans, I’ll just be running the PR/marketing side of Fios TV a little bit differently. :-)

  5. [...] says it expects to reach the one-million subscriber mark as early as next week. Remarkably, Verizon hit the same  milestone with FiOS TV earlier this [...]

  6. [...] is slowing, but three million is still an impressive milestone. Especially when you consider that Verizon has tripled TV subscribers in just over two [...]

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