Verizon lays off 155 at Go90, reports flat FiOS TV growth in Q4 at 21K

Verizon confirmed that it has laid off 155 workers focused on its struggling Go90 mobile platform.

Offering up data on a range of its video products, Verizon confirmed that it has laid off 155 workers focused on its struggling Go90 mobile platform, while also reporting that its FiOS pay-TV service managed flat growth in the fourth quarter by adding 21,000 subscribers.

The FiOS growth compared to 25,000 video adds in the fourth quarter and stemmed what had been a steady pace of decline for the traditional pay-TV platform. For the full year, Verizon added 59,000 FiOS TV subs. FiOS also added 68,000 internet users in the fourth quarter, down from 82,000 in the fourth quarter of 2015.

On the not-so-traditional side of Verizon’s video business, the company hasn’t released user data since launching Go90 in the fall of 2015 as a platform aimed at mobile-consuming young adults. However, it has generally been understood that the audience for the service, which is focused on original content from media companies like Vice, isn’t huge. 

Verizon confirmed a Variety report that it will lay off 155 Go90 workers, restructuring its millennial-targeting video business to account for the assets it acquired in October when it purchased Jason Kilar’s Vessel. Most of the restructuring reportedly occurred on the engineering side. Richard Tom, the former Vessel CTO who worked under Kilar at Hulu, will take charge of Go90’s engineering and operations as CTO of Verizon Digital Entertainment.

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“Our focus with go90 and our Verizon digital media efforts are to fulfill our strategy of leveraging Verizon content investments, enhancing user experience and strengthening our advertising infrastructure,” Verizon said in a statement

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“Fulfilling this strategy has resulted in some duplicative resources and has required organizational changes impacting 155 employees as we consolidate offices in Los Angeles, San Jose and New York. These changes are not indicative to a change in our strategy and we remain committed to rapidly enhancing our existing online video products and delivering new products.”