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Verizon's Plus Play Arrives in Beta With Offer of Netflix Premium

Verizon wants to draw people to its new subscription manager by offering free access to Netflix's top plan if you buy another subscription.

Verizon logo on a phone
Sarah Tew/CNET

In March Verizon announced Plus Play, a central location to manage all your streaming services and subscriptions. The company promised a full launch by the end of the year, and while it hasn't fully reached that goal, Verizon is finally opening up the service in beta to its mobile and 5G and 4G LTE home internet customers. 

To get people to try its free subscription management platform, the carrier is dangling a "limited time" offer of one year of Netflix Premium for free if you also sign up for "a 12-month or seasonal subscription" to one of its other partners. Initial eligible options include the NFL's NFL Plus, the NBA's League Pass, AMC Plus, Super Duolingo, Calm and Peloton. 

Verizon says it has 20 partners for the beta launch -- including Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, HBO Max, Discovery Plus and The Athletic -- with an undisclosed "many more" partners coming in the first quarter of 2023.

Netflix Premium normally runs $20 a month ($240 for the year) and includes 4K streaming and the ability to watch on four devices at once. While you can't sign up for a monthly subscription to a different service and then get this deal, there are a few "seasonal" options that make it pretty compelling.

A seasonal subscription to NFL Plus Premium, which lets you stream local and national NFL games on a phone or tablet, runs a one-time $25 for the rest of this season. Under Verizon's promotion, spending that $25 and signing up for NFL Plus through Plus Play will also get you Netflix Premium for free for a year and netting you a savings of $215 on your yearly Netflix bill. 

It is worth noting that the carrier also has a seasonal offer for the regular NFL Plus at $13, but despite it having that seasonal language only the $25 Premium version will apply for the Netflix offer (a similar situation exists for the NBA's League Pass). 

If you're already on Netflix, you can bring over your subscription and move to Premium through Plus Play. However, Verizon doesn't appear to offer Netflix's other tiers, and it isn't immediately clear if you'll be able to downgrade from Premium through Plus Play after the free year offer expires. Verizon's website has steps on how to migrate a Netflix account

If you have HBO Max, you can move your existing subscriptions to the platform, though you can't move most other services. according to Verizon's FAQ. If you want to take advantage of most of Verizon's Plus Play offers, you'll likely need to cancel your current subscriptions and then make new accounts. 

What you can and can't do with Verizon Plus Play

Plus Play is intended to be a hub where Verizon users can sign up, manage and cancel a host of streaming services and subscriptions. The Play Plus website will also be where the carrier offers deals or trials to get you to sign up for new services. While the platform will recommend shows to watch or things to do, it won't be a place for you to watch shows or view content. Instead, it will direct you to that service's app or website. 

Verizon previously told CNET that it wouldn't be able to see which shows you're watching or content you're interacting with. Instead, it will make the recommendations "based on information about you we've acquired independently of what you are watching on a particular service," Frank Boulben, chief revenue officer of Verizon's consumer group, said in March. 

If you leave Verizon's wireless or home internet services you won't necessarily lose access to Plus Play, though you also won't be able to upgrade or downgrade services or add on any additional ones. If you were on an annual plan for a service when you cancel your Verizon account you'll be able to finish out that subscription, but after that you will no longer be able to sign up for a discounted annual plan and instead will switch to being billed monthly. 

In short, if you have Plus Play and decide to leave the carrier's wireless or home internet offerings you'll probably want to look to move your subscriptions with you. 

As for billing, Verizon won't add these subscriptions to your monthly wireless or home internet bill but will instead charge them to a credit or debit card you have on your account. Unlike with a wireless bill, the carrier won't charge you an extra fee to pay for a Plus Play service with a regular credit card. But it will give you 2% back on Plus Play subscriptions if you pay with its Verizon-branded credit card

Verizon is limiting the beta access, but it plans to expand the Plus Play offering to its Fios users in the future. It hasn't specified when that might happen, however. It also hasn't announced when the service will be available to its prepaid wireless users.