The big picture: Go90 was an attempt by Verizon to build a mobile entertainment brand from the ground up on the back of original content but as others have also discovered, replicating YouTube's success is no easy feat.
Go90, named for turning a mobile device 90 degrees into landscape view, primarily targeted young viewers. Verizon wanted to subsidize the free app with lucrative advertising deals but that vision never really materialized.
Goofy name aside, the app didn’t attract very many eyeballs. Although one of the platform’s programs – Koby Bryant’s animated short Dear Basketball – did win an Oscar, none of Go90’s original programming made a significant enough splash to save the ill-fated platform.
A Verizon spokesperson issued the following statement to multiple publications:
“Following the creation of Oath, Go90 will be discontinued. 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.”
Go90 may have failed for a myriad of reasons but lack of financing isn’t one of them. Sources close to the project estimate the company spent roughly $1.2 billion on the platform over the years although another source close to Verizon disputes that figure, claiming the total expenditure was less than $300 million.