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Verizon Ready To YouTube Its Customers

By: David Utter

A potential deal between telco firm Verizon and the Google-owned video sharing site YouTube could bring user-contributed video zaniness to people carrying advanced Verizon mobiles as well as delivering them to on-demand TV customers.

Verizon Ready To YouTube Its CustomersThe talk has become hot and heated between Verizon (VZ) and YouTube. Should it come to fruition as a Reuters report claimed, Verizon Wireless V Cast customers will be able to view YouTube's finest offerings in airports, meeting rooms, and other places.

Such a deal would give Verizon exclusivity for a limited period of time, the report noted. Wireless companies have had a difficult time in convincing US customers to go beyond camera phones to pay premium prices for data services.

GigaOM writer Katie Fehrenbacher recounted YouTube's aspirations for the mobile platform. She noted how YouTube CEO Chad Hurley hoped to have his videos on cellphones in 2007:

On first thought, this deal is unexpected, given Verizon is often painted as one of the most conservative carriers in the U.S. when it comes to content.

But now that YouTube belongs to Google, it looks like Verizon feels the comfort of deep coffers....Doing a deal with YouTube doesnt mean the carrier will open itself up to a flood of YouTube content " it will likely have a hard-core filter that cherry picks popular, but appropriate content, ie. YouTube lite.

If YouTube goes exclusively with Verizon as reported, that would leave Cingular/AT&T;, Sprint Nextel, and T-Mobile on the sidelines without the most popular video site available for a deal. While other video properties like Veoh could be a prospective partner, none have YouTube's brand awareness or Google money behind them.

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