Everyone wants to get into the video act, and mobile carriers are using the medium to push the speed and convenience of 4G networks. And so Verizon plans to introduce a video aggregation portal to customers on its 4G LTE network dubbed “viewdini” that (magically, we presume) searches across mobile video sources such as Netflix, Hulu Plus, mSpot, Comcast Xfinity, and even its own Verizon FiOS services.
The platform will allow users to search with a range of keywords for video assets among movies, TV shows and digital programming. Title, topic, celebrity name, etc. can all pull up how and where the video is available to a mobile phone or tablet user on the 4G network. The search results indicate whether the video is already available to the user via their current cable authorizations (via Xfinity, for instance) or subscriptions like Netflix and Hulu Plus. The portal will also wrap around the listing related offerings and additional content.
The viewdini service will be available as a downloadable app from the Google Play app store and is free to Verizon customers.
Verizon made the announcement at the Cable Show 2012 and clearly was signaling to the industry its eagerness to cooperate with many video sources, despite the parent company’s own investment in Verizon FiOS. CEO and President of Verizon Wireless Dan Mead says in a statement: “Working with a wide range of providers, we’re giving our customers a simple and intuitive way to find shows, movies and other videos from the sources they have relationships with and discover new sources of video as well.”
As Kevin Fitchard at GigaOm points out, it is not clear how these thick video streams will affect the limited data plans that most consumers will need to use on 4G networks. It is possible that Verizon is planning to give “toll free” passage to the video streams from select partners if the provider pays the carriage fee, for instance. Verizon did not discuss what financial arrangements are being made among the partners and whether Verizon will be reaping a revenue share from any video referrals in viewdini.