Back in April 2016, when Verizon purchased a 24.5% stake in AwesomenessTV for a reported price of $159 million, the two companies planned to do business together by building a premium content platform separate from Verizon’s Go90. Ten months later, that plan appears to have been scrapped. Variety is reporting that the telecom company and the teen- and tween-focusing digital network will no longer co-develop a service and will instead focus on Go90 content.
On their service, Verizon and AwesomenessTV planned to distribute high-quality originals aimed at the Generation Z viewers who tune into the latter company’s network on sites like YouTube. In August 2016, former ABC exec Samie Kim Falvey joined the venture as its chief content officer, but months later, priorities have shifted. Falvey now plans to leave her current post.
AwesomenessTV has already released multiple original programs through Go90, and the network plans to share more shows there even though its grander plans have been shuttered. “The most important part of the Awesomeness/Verizon go90 partnership is our premium content, and the success of Guidance and T@gged have shown what we can do together,” said Verizon and AwesomenessTV in a joint statement. “Rather than launch a new and separate venture, we decided to instead double down on the Awesomeness episodic series output for go90 and also extend the term of our relationship to best build on the momentum we are seeing with our Gen Z target audience.”
Go90, however, has also had its fair share of problems. The mobile-first video platform recently laid off 155 employees, citing “organizational changes.” Since those cuts, Go90 has remained very active, so there’s little doubt we will see more AwesomenessTV content pop up there in the future.