Verizon Shuts Down Go90 Video Service, Makes Oath Home for Media

(Bloomberg) -- Go90, Verizon Communications Inc.’s attempt to attract young mobile-phone viewers and big advertisers with YouTube-like mini dramas and comedy sketches, is shutting down after less than three years.

With the service ending, Oath, the media and advertising unit that’s home to AOL and Yahoo’s online products, will become home for Verizon’s video operations starting June 30, the company said Thursday said in a statement.

The Go90 project, so named because phone users typically flip their phones 90 degrees to watch videos on a horizontal screen, struggled to attract viewers in an era of Snapchat and Instagram and failed to generate enough ad revenue. The service was one of the first steps by Chief Executive Officer Lowell McAdam to find revenue outside its mature wireless phone service.

“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,” the company said in the statement.

Some Go90 shows gained critical recognition, including an Oscar this year for Kobe Bryant’s animated film “Dear Basketball.”

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