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Verizon Closing Go90 in July, Ending Nearly Three-Year Run
Serving videos to mobile-first teens seemed like an easy money grab, but Go90 is the latest in a long line of platforms to never find an audience.

After a nearly three-year journey, Verizon announced it will close Go90, its mobile video platform for young people, on July 31. Go90 launched on October 1, 2015, offering free ad-supported content from cable networks. The platform emphasized social features, as viewers were able to follow people and "crews," and make and share clips from videos they were watching. 

There were signs Go90 was in trouble before this, such as in January 2017 when Verizon laid off 155 Go90 employees and had the platform rebuilt by the team from Vessel (which Verizon had acquired). The platform emphasized online originals, such as "MVP" starring Rob Gronkowski. However, poor audience engagement numbers made it hard to keep advertisers. Despite the massive overhaul, Verizon denied it was changing its strategy.

An even bigger sign of trouble came in February 2018, when Oath CEO Tim Armstrong said Go90 would become part of Oath with a new role as a content engine for various platforms within the organization. 

“The brand will remain, I don’t know how long for,” Armstrong said, foreshadowing today's news.

Even though Verizon invested $1.2 billion on Go90, Digiday reports, the platform was never able to find an audience. Show and content rights for original series will revert to their production partners. Verizon said the closure won't lead to significant layoffs.

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