Verizon is shutting down Go90, a mobile-video app the company launched with some fanfare only three years ago in hope of tapping into a generation of millennials that had displayed a bottomless appetite for video content on their smartphones.
The company said it would retire the app on July 31.
The announcement, first reported by Variety, comes after the wireless carrier had indicated its disappointment with the app for some time. In early 2017, Verizon laid off 155 employees who were working on Go90. Later that year, Verizon formed its Oath unit to fold together the AOL and Yahoo assets it had acquired, after which Go90’s fate seemed even more uncertain.
In February, Oath CEO Tim Armstrong said at a conference that Go90 would be consolidated inside Oath’s other content-distribution plans. “We had two separate strategies, now it will be one strategy,” Armstrong said at the time.
When Go90 launched, Verizon hoped the ad-supported app would be a draw for a young audience of cord-cutters and cord-nevers who were entirely comfortable streaming video on their phones. “The fact that 41 percent of Millennials are cord cutters, and their favorite content is not coming from traditional networks, this was a real opportunity to bring together content they want on a platform,” Brian Angiolet, a Verizon executive who spearheaded the project, said at the time.
Verizon invested as much as $200 million early on in Go90. The company also heavily promoted the app, sometimes using ham-fisted marketing language that touted its “awesome videos” and “tons of amazing content.”
The shuttering of Go90 does not mark retreat from Verizon’s plans to offer streaming video to its customers. Last fall, Bloomberg reported that Verizon was preparing to launch a new online TV service this year, but also noted that the launch of that service had been delayed as the company struggled to determine how to compete in the media industry.