Go90 is going away. Verizon, which launched the mobile-first video platform in October 2015, has elected to shut it down, focusing instead on the content plans of its subsidiary Oath.
The platform will be shuttered on July 31. “Following the creation of Oath, Go90 will be discontinued,” a Verizon representative said in a statement provided to Variety. “Verizon will focus on building its digital-first brands at scale in sports, finance, news and entertainment for today’s mobile consumers and tomorrow’s 5G applications.”
When it launched, Go90 attracted plenty of attention, thanks in large part to the significant amount of money Verizon spent to stock its new platform with original content. Programming partners for the service included AwesomenessTV, Complex Networks, Machinima, New Form (whose Mr. Student Body President was well represented at the 2017 Streamy Awards), and Believe Entertainment Group, the last of which earned Go90 an Oscar win through the Kobe Bryant-led short film Dear Basketball.
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But there were always signs that Go90 was struggling. From its early days, its finances lingered in the red, and it never could bring in the audiences it needed to draw in order to recoup its content acquisition expenses. In 2017, Verizon slashed the Go90 workforce by laying off 155 employees, and a year later, it became clear that the media company was preparing to fold its mobile video experiment into Oath.“We had two separate strategies, now it will be one strategy,” Oath CEO Tim Armstrong said this past February. “We have taken Go90 into Oath.”
Oath was launched in 2017 as an amalgamation of two legacy internet brands owned by Verizon: AOL and Yahoo. The company revealed its own original content plans during a presentation at the most recent Newfronts.
While Go90 will certainly become bygone, there are still several loose ends to tie up. According to Digiday, the soon-to-be defunct platform will return all content and their rights back to its production partners and Go90 employees will be transferred to other positions within Oath.