Verizon gets Disney+ boost

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Verizon Communications added more monthly mobile phone subscribers than expected as it benefited from including the Disney+ streaming service with some of its plans. The US carrier has cut prices and made its offerings more attractive by bundling services such as Apple Music.

The company said it added 790,000 phone customers who pay a monthly bill in the fourth quarter, well above analyst estimates. Total operating revenue rose to $34.78 billion (€31.4bn) from $34.28 billion.

Last year, Verizon said it would offer a year-long subscription to Disney+ with its unlimited plans, a move aimed at rival AT&T which is expected to launch its own streaming platform HBO Max in May.

Revenue in Verizon’s media unit, which includes Yahoo, HuffPost and TechCrunch, was nearly flat at $2.1 billion from a year earlier. The company said it wrote down $236 million during the fourth quarter for the media business, which has struggled to grow as ad revenue moved to larger digital players like Google.

Net income rose to $5.22 billion in the fourth quarter ended December 31st from $2.07 billion a year earlier.


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