Two years after AT&T launched their Sponsored Data program, Verizon is jumping into that method of free data. For those who don’t remember or may have not heard of the AT&T program, both it and Verizon’s new service work the same way. Verizon will give companies the opportunity to sponsor user’s traffic, essentially making the content creators pay for the data instead of consumers.
Verizon says that companies who wish to sponsor data will have two options, being FreeBee Data and FreeBee Data 360. FreeBee Data will allow companies to offer select or entire parts of their mobile app or website to consumers to free, say Spotify footing the bill per gigabyte for streaming, if they choose to.
FreeBee Data 360 allows companies more specific control on a per-click basis, such as watching specific videos, audio clips, or app downloads. The brands part of this program are Hearst Magazines, AOL, and GAMEDAY.
Both the 360 and non-360 services are currently in beta, only in place for 1,000 subscribers and they are post-paid only. So make sure to watch your data if you visit any of the mentioned services, because you’re more than likely to not be apart of the beta.
Colson Hillier, Verizon’s vice president of Consumer Products, had this to say about the launch of FreeBee Data:
“With 1 in 3 Americans now watching videos on their smartphone, and another 100 million on tablets, the business case for mobile is clear. In today’s digital economy, FreeBee Data is a departure from the one size fits all approach to marketing. The opportunity to add value and utility to consumers’ everyday experiences will fundamentally transform how brands and businesses connect with their customers.”
It remains to be seen how many other brands jump onto FreeBee Data, but Verizon has opened it up to all content providers if they would like to participate. It also remains to be seen if the FCC will get involved based on the Net Neutrality rules set in place in February 2015, but we’ll have to wait and see on both fronts. What do you think of this new service?