Verizon’s Plus Play Aims to Be New Home for Controlling Your Subscriptions – CNET

Verizon’s Plus Play Aims to Be New Home for Controlling Your Subscriptions – CNET

Sarah Tew/CNET

With the ever-growing field of streaming services and subscriptions, it can become increasingly difficult to keep track of which services you subscribe to. On Thursday, Verizon revealed its plan to try to manage that chaos, debuting a service it calls Plus Play.

Verizon describes Plus Play as a “platform that allows users to discover, purchase and manage some of their favorite subscriptions.” Verizon says it will begin a trial of the service, announced during the company’s investor day, at the end of March, and do a full launch later this year. 

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Early partners on the platform include services Verizon already offers subscriptions for, such as Disney Plus, ESPN Plus, Hulu and AMC Plus. The carrier says it’s also working with a number of other companies, including Netflix, Peloton, Veeps concert livestreams, WW International, A+E Networks (which includes Lifetime Movie Club, History Vault and A&E Crime Central), The Athletic, Calm, Duolingo and TelevisaUnivision’s Vix Plus. 

There is no cost for using Plus Play, though you will need to be a Verizon customer. The carrier says the platform will be able to “centralize subscription services” and offer “exclusive deals.” 

“We always want to bring value to consumers so there’s gonna be a lot of perks for them,” said Manon Brouillette, executive vice president and CEO of Verizon’s consumer group. Brouillette would not reveal what those deals might be, instead teasing that more will be revealed in a few weeks. 

The Play Plus app will also offer personalized content recommendations, but Verizon says that it will not be able to see what shows you’re watching or content you are interacting with. Instead, it will make the recommendations “based on information about you we’ve acquired independently of what you are watching on a particular service,” says Frank Boulben, chief revenue officer of Verizon’s consumer group. 

Boulben says that as with its other offers, the usage data “remains 100% owned by the content provider.” 

Verizon tells CNET that those who use the service will “be able to manage their payment card and see the date their service renews each month” in the Plus Play dashboard. If you subscribe to a service through the platform, or transfer your payment to have Verizon bill you directly, you will be able to cancel subscriptions through Plus Play. 

Those who use a Verizon credit card will similarly be able to earn 2% rewards on subscriptions paid for through the platform. 

The expansion into subscription management comes as wireless carriers have focused on adding content to entice users to step up to pricier unlimited data plans. Verizon’s Play More plan offers subscriptions to Disney Plus, ESPN Plus and Hulu as well as either Apple Arcade or Google Play Pass. Its priciest unlimited plan, Get More, adds in a subscription to Apple Music. 

Rival carrier T-Mobile offers a variety of streaming services with its Magenta and Magenta Max plans, including bundled Netflix subscriptions as well as one-year subscriptions to Apple TV Plus and Paramount Plus Essentials. AT&T, meanwhile, offers six-month trials of gaming services Google Stadia and Nvidia GeForce Now with its unlimited plans, and bundles in HBO Max as part of its priciest Unlimited Elite offering.

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