Update (06/29): The final nail appears to be in the coffin for Go90. Variety reports that Verizon’s streaming service will close for good on July 31.
According to the report, existing Go90 operations will be brought into Verizon’s Oath. This shouldn’t be too much of a surprise as Verizon has been publishing Go90 content on Oath sites over the past six months. The move also saw the total audience for Go90 content rise to an average of 17 million unique viewers per month.
A Verizon rep noted that a decision is yet to be made about what will happen to some of Go90’s original programming.
Original story (02/15):
Tim Armstrong gave a talk at the Code Media conference in Huntington Beach, CA, on Tuesday. During the talk, he had a few things to say about Go90, Verizon’s digital media app. Essentially, he says Go90 is not long for this world.
“The brand will remain I don’t know how long,” Armstrong said. He is the CEO of Verizon’s digital media subsidiary Oath, which oversees the Go90 project.
The Go90 app launched in late 2015 exclusively for Verizon customers. A direct response to the overwhelming success of Netflix and other media companies creating original content. Go90 is geared towards Millennials, Generation Z, and gamers. The app streams ad-supported video content in the form of scripted shows, movies, short clips, and news.
“Go90 was a super ambitious project, which was essentially trying to start an internet mobile video service from scratch,” Armstrong said during the Code Media talk. “It was highly likely we’re going to stub our toe a huge number of times.”
What Armstrong is referring to with the “stub our toe” line is the myriad issues Go90 has faced since its launch. The biggest issue being that not many people use the service; during February of last year, Go90 averaged 2.1 million active users per month. For perspective, YouTube has 1.5 billion. Go90 also has had difficulty with advertisers, as many companies are put off by the service’s weak user numbers.
What will happen to the content currently in the Go90 app? Armstrong said that the current lineup would be pushed out to other distribution outlets overseen by Oath, like HuffPost and Yahoo Finance. He posits that Go90 will become a content engine rather than a standalone service.
If and when Go90 does fold, it will join NBCUniversal’s Seeso app, a similar original content distribution company that tried to compete with YouTube and Netflix. It’s going to take some serious firepower to knock down those reigning goliaths.