Verizon Kicks Off Go90 Private Beta

Beginning Tuesday, Verizon is sending out invitations for a private beta of its long-awaited Go90 over-the-top video service. A spokesperson for the telco confirmed the start of the beta trial, adding that the company will "gear up for launch later this month."

The New York Times reported earlier today that Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) plans to launch the OTT service this week.

Other details on Go90 are also emerging, including Verizon's branding of the free, ad-supported service as "a mobile-first social entertainment platform." The social element refers to several sharing functions that are bundled into the service including "Cut and Share," a feature that sounds remarkably similar to "Clip+Sling," which Sling Media Inc. announced for the Slingbox back in 2007, but never launched. According to Verizon, Cut and Share will let users "easily cut and share particular segments of a show."

Other Go90 features confirmed by Verizon include "Crews" for chatting on the Go90 platform, "Share out" for connecting with viewers on other platforms like Facebook and Twitter, "Follow" for tracking favorite shows and "Crowdsource" for tapping into content recommendations from the Go90 community.

The video line-up for Go90 is a collage of content: live concerts and sports match-ups (including college football and basketball games) mixed in with cable shows like The Daily Show and HBO's The Leftovers along with web-based content from recently acquired AOL and networks like AwesomenessTV and Maker Studios. Verizon notes that Go90 will include content from 15 of the 30 most-watched cable networks and nine of the top 15 multichannel networks.

Want to know more about the impact of Web services on the pay-TV sector? Check out our dedicated OTT services content channel here on Light Reading.

It's worth reiterating that Verizon's new OTT service is built on a well-established platform of video technologies including Verizon's own content delivery network and video processing applications developed within the Verizon Digital Media Services (VDMS) business. Go90 will also make good use of Verizon's recent acquisition of AOL not only for that company's content, but also for its advertising technology. (See Verizon Builds Toward OTT Launch .)

It's still unknown exactly how Verizon will make use of LTE multicast technology for the Go90 service, or how the company will implement sponsored data as a way of subsidizing bandwidth costs. Verizon has previously said it will use both strategies for OTT video delivery.

In addition to Verizon, Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) also has its own OTT video service in the works called Watchable. Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH) launched its web-based Sling TV service in January, and several programmers now offer online streaming services, including Home Box Office Inc. (HBO) and Showtime Networks Inc. (See Dish Slings OTT Service – What It Means.)

— Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, Light Reading

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KBode 9/27/2015 | 10:15:38 AM
Re: Beta Your impressions dont' surprise me. Verizon has yet to succeed in any major push into the content/media industries. It just doesn't have the innovative and disruptive chops as a company that's spent thirty years primarily worried about networks, regulatory capture, and turf protection.
wanlord 9/26/2015 | 9:14:36 PM
Beta I tried the beta, it stinks. nothing compelling. not sticky.


If you are using Kanye West to market your app, you are in big trouble... I guess it's fitting though, Kanye loves to punch people and making them "go90" on the floor...


mhhf1ve 9/10/2015 | 6:02:04 PM
Re: OnCue Millennials don't even know they're millenials.

KBode 9/9/2015 | 5:43:29 PM
Re: OnCue Most of those generational terms "Gen X" tend to be coined by people being dismissive of a younger generation they don't understand. I think by their nature they're usually reductive and an attempt to classify the unclassifiable and generalize an entire massive generation. So yes, I agree. :)

Still don't think Verizon has the chops to successfully target and retain these younger audiences.
DHagar 9/9/2015 | 1:54:04 PM
Re: OnCue msilbey, the term millennial also sounds transitory, as opposed to transformational or foundational - I think it is a demeaning characterization. 

We should start a rename "millennials" movement on LR.
DHagar 9/9/2015 | 1:49:29 PM
Re: go90 steveq, that does not sound like a strong value proposition to me. They must be thinking the novelty will sell, but it is not that novel anymore. They are going to have to come up with something better.
Ariella 9/9/2015 | 11:19:49 AM
Re: OnCue Oregon Trail sounds very pioneering. I never identified with any particular generation label myself. I think what I fall into gives the wrong sense of when I lived. For example, I have repeatedly explained to my kids that the 60s was before my time, and I don't mean in terms of growing up but altogether.  One time I was struck by generational difference when I noticed that students I had in college were born after "Star Wars" first came out. That indicated a real demarcation to me.
msilbey 9/9/2015 | 10:54:52 AM
Re: OnCue I've always hated the term millennial. Sounds dismissive somehow. Or like something that was futuristic back in the 1980s. Personally, I've always preferred the slightly older Oregon Trail generation...
Ariella 9/9/2015 | 10:40:39 AM
Re: OnCue @msilbey timing is everything. Verizon is very busy I see. The New York Times article on Verizon's free mobile TV claims that it's an attempt to attract millenials, which reminds me of another article, Most Millennials Reject the Term 'Millennial':

Businesses can commit a similar fallacy when they target specific generations. For example, Whole Foods announced earlier this year that it would be launching a new chain of stores that would lure Millennials with lower prices, cleaner design, and a more discerning inventory. One consultant, writing in Harvard Business Review, argued that this strategy implied that "Gen X and Baby Boomer shoppers are fine with or even prefer old, cluttered stores that sell a confusing array of stuff at high prices."

msilbey 9/9/2015 | 9:34:22 AM
Re: OnCue I so wanted Clip and Sling to happen! Can't believe it's taken this many years. Not sure I care anymore...
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