Verizon Ups 'Awesomeness' Quotient for Go90

Although there's no word yet on whether consumers are buying into Verizon's mobile-first Go90 video service, the telco has decided to invest yet more money in building up its millennial-focused, digital content library.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) announced this week that it has taken a new stake in AwesomenessTV, giving the service provider about 24.5% ownership of the video brand. Alongside that financial investment, Verizon has also signed an agreement with AwesomenessTV to create a new "premium short-form mobile video service" that will premiere on Go90.

The move follows another recent joint venture between Verizon and Hearst, which is kicking off with the joint production of two new video channels known as RatedRed.com and Seriously.TV. Hearst also owns 24.5% of AwesomenessTV, while DreamWorks LLC maintains majority ownership with 51% of shares. (See Verizon, Hearst Launch JV for Digital Content.)

Verizon is placing a big bet on over-the-top video content even as it reduces investment in its facilities-based FiOS TV service. Less than a week ago, Verizon completed a deal that handed over its TV and wireline broadband markets in California, Florida and Texas to Frontier Communications Corp. (NYSE: FTR). More than half of those systems are FiOS-enabled. (See Frontier Takes Over FiOS Tomorrow.)

Even the director of FiOS TV has gone on record promoting Go90 and millennial-focused mobile video content over her own Verizon video product. (See FiOS TV Director Cuts the Cord.)

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

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