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Verizon, AT&T head-to-head in race to offer TV-like viewing experiences

AT&T and Verizon are lining up heavy-hitting media partners as they race to retain and attract younger consumers with mobile-specific content intended to bring a television-like viewing experience to smartphones.

Verizon is partnering with Hearst to develop programming specific to the mobile device in an attempt to gain millennials' attention, as their time spent engaging with mobile video is increasing at a rapid rate, while AT&T will also be rolling out a package for mobile-only programming from DirectTV. Both service providers have realized the potential video has on mobile and while consumers are not watching hours of programming on mobile, there is still room for a television network-like experience. 

"The core of every successful business venture is the understanding of the needs and desires of people," said Michael Becker, managing partner at mCordis. "When it comes to TV, overall, the majority of TV content is still viewed on the standard television mounted on the wall or cabinet; however, as reported by a recent study from Realitymine, a different story emerging.  

"The study indicates how video content is increasingly consumed via computers and phones vs. televisions, especially by Millennials," he said. "In addition, to where we view our video content, the type of video content we?re view appears to be also changing. 

"Conviva found evidence that episodic content format is eating into short video content while movie and live content format shares are staying the same. We will continue to see innovation on this front as people explore with the new medium of mobile."

Mobile-only video and Seriously.TV are the new channels to be provided by Verizon Hearst Media Partners to air on Verizon?s mobile video app Go90, along with complementary content on branded social media and Web sites. will share content catering to the Midwest and southern consumers through programming regarding music, food, outdoor life, military affairs, politics and faith. Content will be featured in various formats such as news, documentaries, reality series and scripted shows. 

Seriously.TV will be another new channel on Go90, catering to the broad range of millennials who are interested in news in a comedic format, similar to series such as The Daily Show. The mobile network will be updated multiple times throughout today, appealing to consumers who are interested in staying up-to-date by the minute instead of waiting for it all at once through late night television.

AT&T is also focusing on providing consumers with mobile video content in its recent announcement that it will be launching three packages for customers to purchase DirectTV content on mobile devices. The packages, titled DirectTV Now, DirectTV Mobile and DirectTV Preview, are providing consumers with varying degrees of programming for devices that fit their lifestyles. 

DirectTV Now will be providing its current packaging along with on-demand and add-ons, whereas DirectTV Mobile will equip mobile devices only with content created specifically for the platform and geared toward a younger audience.

DIRECTV Preview will featured various free content provided through ad-support. The new packages follow AT&T?s acquisition of DirectTV. 

Mobile programming
Similarly, Columbia Records provided an immersive experience for fans of the late David Bowie, partnering with a popular Instagram page to create a storytelling experience to coincide with the release of a new album (see more). 

State Farm Insurance sponsored Yahoo?s mobilized live-stream coverage of the National Basketball Association?s trade deadline with humorous video ads that had a sports theme (see more).