So we continue with our series on Mobile Video, today we are taking a look at Verizon’s go90 service.

go90, is the Verizon all-in-one mobile entertainment app that brings together live music, live sports, original shows and TV favorites giving users access to more than 21,000 titles and more than 50 exclusive original series anytime, anywhere in the U.S. – all from a smartphone or tablet. Verizon has reached agreements with broadcasters including Comedy Central, Discovery Channel, ESPN, The Food Network, as well as web video producers including AwesomenessTV, Machinima and Vice Media. Users can get a front-row seat to some of the biggest musical performances with the go90 Live Concert Series and streaming of the most-buzzed about exclusive originals from some of today’s hottest creators and stars.  

Since early February 2016, all go90-registered Verizon Wireless post-paid customers can watch all of their favorite go90 video content anytime, on Verizon’s LTE network as part of go90’s participation in FreeBee Data 360’s sponsored data service.

Target Customers

Verizon is targeting their mobile customer base, specifically young users by developing go90 on smartphones using a free, ad-supported model. The service is courting under-25s who circumvent traditional pay TV. Surveys conducted by Animoto discovered about millennials:

  • Nearly half (48%) of millennials only watch videos on their mobile device.
  • 80 percent of millennials consider video content when researching a purchase decision
  • 7 out of 10 millennials are likely to watch a company video when shopping online
  • 76 percent of millennials follow brands on YouTube
  • 60 percent of millennials prefer to watch a company video over reading a company newsletter

Verizon’s move follows similar moves by competitors. For example, Dish Network launched its OTT live television service Sling TV in February 2015, and cable companies have started offering ‘slim bundles’, which feature a smaller selection of channels at a lower price. However, with Go90, Verizon is going further, specifically by trying to establish a footprint within the segment that considers the smartphone to be the primary screen for consumption: 18-24 year-old users spend 4 hours per day on their phones (60% more than the national average – eMarketeer). Go90 also features certain social media capabilities to capture some of the 20 minutes per day that smartphone users spend on average using social media on their phones.

The go90 Difference

A big differential factor for Verizon is not restricting access to Go90 to its own customers, which means that the service presents a wider disruption to the video market and potentially promotes the Verizon brand to a wider youth audience. Intrinsic to this aspiration to disrupt is go90’s integrated social media environment: the service promises to let users easily slice and share short clips of its content, which it hopes will gather some viral momentum.

verizon-go90-09 mobile deviceThe goal for go90 was to enable Verizon to capitalize on data from its wireless customer base in a targeted and scaled way to connect consumers with advertisers. Within the company’s broader video strategy, go90 captures and aggregates the audience, provides mobile-first content, and creates incremental ad-generated revenue.

Unlike many other OTT services, Verizon’s go90 offers some unique social media aspects including the in-app ability to comment, chat with friends, follow shows and celebrities and even cut a segment of live video and share it with friends on Facebook and Twitter.

go90 Today

“I think we had always internally viewed go90 as what we call patient money inside the business that we knew, because it wasn’t our core competency, we knew we were going to have to build slowly in this area. And the way I would characterize it, we have seen enough success to make us excited about continuing to work it. But we didn’t believe, and I think it did get a little bit overhyped.”  – Lowell McAdam – Verizon Communications Inc. – Chairman & CEO

go90 illustrates Verizon’s broader strategy on the programmatic platform.

“The main goal for go90 is to gain viewership”, said Verizon Wireless Executive Vice President and CFO Fran Shammo during the company’s fourth-quarter 2015 earnings call.

So what else can a Mobile Operator do?

Listen to our on demand Cisco Knowledge Network Session entitled, “How Does a Mobile Operator Manage Video Traffic and Make Money at It?”

For more details download and read our white paper “A New Approach for Mobile Video Services

Read the latest Cisco Visual Networking Index.

And watch this space for a series of blogs on Mobile Video.


Jim O'Leary

Sr. Manager Mobile Solutions Marketing