February 14, 2018
Verizon’s struggling mobile streaming video service, Go90, is being folded into the telecom’s Oath platform, which includes AOL, HuffPost, Engadget, TechCrunch, Tumblr and Yahoo, Tim Armstrong, CEO of Oath, told a technology group.
Speaking Feb. 13 at Recode’s Code Media confab in Huntington Beach, Calif., Armstrong admitted rollout of ad-supported Go90 had its share of challenges.
“We had two separate strategies, now it will be one strategy,” Armstrong said.
Launched in 2015 with much fanfare, Go90 offered select TV shows, movies, video clips and related media, including a reality TV series from Ben Affleck and Matt Damon.
The platform targeted millennial demographic, in addition to Gen. Z and gamers with mobile content that would not count against monthly data caps.
But challenges quickly surfaced as the platform struggled to gain traction in a market filled with myriad social media options, in addition to Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu.
Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam in 2016 admitted to obstacles with the service, including taking blame for over-hyping Go90 in the media and on Wall Street.
The platform reportedly laid off 155 staffers in January 2017, including GM Chip Canter, consolidating operations under Vessel, a separate platform founded by former Hulu CEO Jason Kilar.
“Go90 was a super ambitious project, which was essentially trying to start an Internet mobile video service from scratch,” Armstrong said. “The [Go90] brand will remain [for] I don’t know how long.”