Despite having the ability to pre-install Go90 on millions of phones, Verizon is finally pulling the plug on its floundering streaming TV service at the end of July.
In the three years since its launch, G090 (which doesn’t even require a subscription) never really caught on with its intended millennial audience, and according to Verizon failed to achieve significant scaled distribution, even though in recent months Go90's total audience has increased to more than 17 million unique viewers per month.
While the closing of Go90 might seem abrupt, especially after Verizon signed a deal with Samsung that allowed the company to pre-install a package of apps including Go90 onto Galaxy S9 phones, there have been signs that Go90 was in trouble for quite some time.
Back in January 2017, Verizon laid off 150 Go90 employees before handing development of the streaming service over to the former Vessel team, which Verizon acquired in October 2016. Then in February, Oath CEO Tim Armstrong made the move essentially a forgone conclusion after casting doubts on the future of Go90 at Recode’s Code Media conference.
In a statement made to Variety, a Verizon spokesperson said that going forward “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.”
Variety also says that Verizon’s new mobile video strategy will be lead by live sports coverage spurred on by deals to broadcast both NFL and NBA. As for Go90's existing media library, the Go90 website says that many of its shows will still be available to watch on other Verizon properties including Yahoo Sports, HuffPost, and Tumblr.
But what will become of G090's upcoming Like and Subscribe? We’ve been positively dying to watch it after its totally cool and not at all out of touch publicity stunt earlier this week.