(Reuters) -Verizon Communications said on Monday it lost fewer-than-expected wireless subscribers in the first quarter thanks to its flexible plans and streaming bundles offering discounted pricing for services such as Netflix and Warner Bros Discovery’s Max.

Shares of the U.S. telecom firm rose 2.5% in premarket trading.

It lost 68,000 monthly bill-paying wireless phone subscribers between January and March – a seasonally soft period for the industry after the holiday quarter.

That compared with an estimated loss of 100,000, according to FactSet, and a loss of 127,000 in the first quarter of 2023.

The New York-based company said last month that a majority of its customers were opting for its premium, customizable myPlan option, which has resonated well with consumers.

Verizon has also partnered with streaming services to attract customers. Starting last Thursday, its latest promotional bundle includes six months of free access to Disney’s services for new and existing customers on some plans.

In December, it began offering discounted subscriptions to Netflix and Max on some myPlan bundles.

Verizon’s consumer business saw its best first-quarter performance since 2018, with 158,000 wireless retail postpaid phone net losses, compared with 263,000 losses a year ago.

“We are on track to meet our financial guidance and to deliver positive consumer postpaid phone net adds for the year,” CEO Hans Vestberg said.

The firm reported revenue of $33 billion for the quarter, compared with an LSEG estimate of $33.24 billion, as phone upgrade levels continue to drift lower.

Customers are showing a clear preference for holding on to their phones for longer periods amid economic uncertainty and a lack of major new features, analysts have said.

Verizon’s plans normally cost more than rivals such as AT&T and T-Mobile, which are scheduled to report earnings later in the week.

Excluding items, the company reported a profit of $1.15 per share, beating an LSEG estimate of $1.12 per share.

(Reporting by Harshita Mary Varghese; Editing by Pooja Desai)

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