Newspaper article International New York Times

Verizon to Offer Free Mobile TV Service

Newspaper article International New York Times

Verizon to Offer Free Mobile TV Service

Article excerpt

The content for the service Go90 will be a mix of live events, prime-time television and original web series.

Verizon Communications is hoping that millennials will start flipping their mobile phones 90 degrees and streaming live and on- demand television.

The telecommunications company plans to announce this week the start of a free, ad-supported mobile streaming service called Go90, a reference to the behavior of rotating a phone to watch videos in landscape mode.

Aimed at 18- to 34-year-olds, the service will be available to all users, regardless of whether or not they are Verizon customers.

"Seventy percent of this group view on mobile first; that's an enormous opportunity," said Marni M. Walden, president of product innovation and new business at Verizon.

Executives made a conscious decision not to include the word Verizon when choosing a name for the new service, in part to appeal to as broad an audience as possible. That is important as Verizon seeks to bolster its mobile ad business and deliver to advertisers big audiences that watch premium content. Go90 also could serve as a marketing tool to attract new customers to Verizon's wireless service.

The content for Go90 will be a mix of live events, prime-time television and original web series. Rather than the inventory of entire networks, included are popular shows from Comedy Central, Food Network, ESPN, NFL Network and Discovery, as well as popular online series from AwesomenessTV, Vice, Tastemade and Machinima.

Go90 will also feature National Football League games and live concerts. The service will start as a mobile-first product, but executives said they were thinking about creating streaming options that would work on traditional televisions as well.

"If you look at this generation, the first place they go to look for anything is not a network lineup or a channel lineup, it's the web," said Brian Angiolet, Verizon's senior vice president for consumer products, referring to millennials. …

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