Verizon Starts Go90, Mobile-First Video (And Social) Platform

Verizon today began the soft launch of its "mobile-first social entertainment platform," called Go90 that offers content from several cable and online sources to smartphone users. It also offers several ways to move the ad-supported content to other platforms,

Right now, it's only available to invited Verizon customers but by the end of September it should go wide to all smartphone users, regardless of which company provides their cell service, a Verizon spokeswoman explained. Data use rates will apply but when the service goes wider, Verizon plans to offer users during the first three months two gigabytes of free days.

 Users can view content to live streams and on-demand access but with a lot of social media wrinkles like "cut and share" which allows a user to excise a clip and send it off via social media; "crews" to share and chat with other fans; "follow" to track favorite shows; and "crowdsource," to let users find recommendations from others. 

 Obviously, the play here is for millennials consumers. Data show they're mobile's biggest fans, and only lukewarm about the big box television, a development bringing rapid change to the entertainment and advertising landscape. Go90 "is buit for the next generation," says a Verizon promotional graphic that includes viewing trends of younger viewers. It gets its name from the fact users have to turn their smartphones horizontally to watch the videos.

The Verizon spokeswoman, possibly introducing the Go90 pitch, wrote in an email, "In other words, Go90 is as much a social platform as it is a mobile-video platform."

 Features wil include a lot of sports including NCAA football and basketball and international league soccer; live concerts and material from Website content providers including Awesomeness, Colllective Digital, Machinima, Whistle Sports, Fullscreen, StyleHaul, Tastemade, Defy, Vice and Maker Studios and popular featues like HuffPost Live, Vice News and Funny or Die; Endemol's Michell Phan, JASH's Sarah Silverman, James Franco's "Making A Scene," from Verizon-ownd AOL, Specifically, Verizon said it would present ESPN's ""30 for 30" and Comedy Central's "The Daily Show with Trevor Noah." 

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