Verizon has Disney+ to thank for big Q4 2019 customer gains

Verizon has Disney+ to thank for big Q4 2019 customer gains
It's that time of the year again, ladies and gents, and even though T-Mobile got the ball rolling several weeks ago with a boastful preliminary financial report for the final three months of last year, Sprint, AT&T, and Verizon all followed suit in the last couple of days with their own consolidated Q4 and full 2019 results.

While no one can rival Team Magenta in terms of quarterly and yearly customer gains, Verizon had a pretty solid October - December timeframe of its own, adding 790,000 new wireless subscribers. That's Big Red's highest fourth-quarter phone net boost in no less than six years, and it would be foolish to consider the timing of this achievement coincidental.

As it so happens, the nation's largest mobile network operator launched a major promotion during Q4 2019, bundling free Disney+ access with all its unlimited plans. Although both existing and new Verizon customers were eligible for the 12-month video streaming deal, analysts believe the partnership mutually benefited and vastly improved the subscriber numbers of both Big Red and Disney+.

Overall, Verizon reported 1.4 million phone net additions from the beginning through the end of 2019, which is less than the number of new customers T-Mobile managed to draw in between October and December alone. But by Big Red's standards, that's not bad at all, improving on the 1.1 million phone net additions of 2018. 

Wireless service revenue also grew by a small margin of 3.5 percent year over year in Q4 and 3.2 percent for the entire year, while the company's total consolidated operating revenues jumped by 1.4 percent from Q4 2018 to $34.8 billion now.

The wireline products and services division was largely to blame for offsetting a significant part of Verizon's wireless gains, although the media business didn't exactly thrive either, generating flat quarterly revenues of $2.1 billion. This includes major brands like Yahoo, AOL, and HuffPost, but for what it's worth, the division has improved "meaningfully" from the massive "decline reported at the beginning of the year."

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