There's a huge demand for free media streaming services and looks like mobile carriers in the US are more than happy to provide such to consumers. One of the most controversial topics today is T-Mobile's Binge On program that got other firms complaining and its CEO John Legere fuming in anger. This time, Verizon is set to start another revolution by introducing FreeBee Data. The keyword is "free" so you know what that means.
Verizon's offering is a sponsored data service by brands. This is targeted for businesses who offer more content to attract and engage customers. Under FreeBee Data, Verizon won't count against the data plans of the consumers if they access a certain providers' content. Companies can avail of this service if they have a lot of content or media to offer. Instead of the individuals being charged, a brand will pay for the data that will be consumed. The idea is the company "sponsoring" the data on a per gigabyte pricing or per-click basis. Data include app downloads, audio streaming, and mobile videos.
The service is available in beta for now. The pay-per-click beta will formally begin on January 25. If you're interested to try this service, you may contact Verizon. A few companies have signed up including Gameday, AOL, and Hearst Magazines. This pay-per-click trial will bring content for about 1,000 test subscribers. The service is expected to launch commercially later this 2016 so more customers can enjoy free data.
The FreeBee Data is set to empower brands' mobile marketing campaigns. It's mainly limited to Verizon subscribers but it should be able to capture a larger market. Two plans are available: FreeBee Data and FreeBee Data 360. Content that can be downloaded under FreeBee Data will show a "bee" as icon on the side. Downloading the app, game, or video will not be counted against a personal plan.
This isn't the first sponsored data plan we know. If you may remember, Verizon also announced sponsored data to bring subsidies to plans. That seemed like a good idea until the FCC stepped in and looked into the program. We're curious to know how the public will react to this and if and when FCC will question Verizon. We're crossing our fingers...