Verizon (NYSE: VZ) has transitioned its go90 mobile video service out of beta and into the general public's hands, launching iOS and Android apps for the free, ad-supported service, and unfurling its broader content library.
The service had been in beta trials for several weeks, with select users -- Verizon invited 5 million of them for the beta -- kicking the tires with a limited amount of available content.
"Shows load quickly and I didn't encounter any crashes or glitches during a few days of use," said the Wall Street Journal's Ryan Knutson, reviewing the service.
Available for free to mobile device users with any wireless platform, go90 features a collection of episodic content from traditional pay-TV programmers including Comedy Central, Food Network, ESPN, NFL Network,One World Sports, Discovery, VH1, MTV, SPIKE, TLC, Adult Swim, HGTV, BET, Investigation Discovery, Univision and Viacom.
Targeting millennial-aged consumers, the service also includes content from such YouTube stalwarts as AwesomenessTV, Vice, Tastemade, Maker Studios, Fullscreen, Stylehaul, Collective Digital, Machinima, EliteDaily, DEFY, Legendary, AOL/HuffPo and more.
Verizon is aiming to build robust programmatic ad-based revenue through viral distribution of content. Users, for example, can share -- and comment on -- clips of go90 content they edit themselves. This video can be shared in groups called "crews," where social media friends can discuss shared video.
Notably, Verizon isn't sticking its name on the service. That's a strategy shard by Comcast, which earlier this week launched its own free programming service aimed at younger audiences, Watchable.
Like Verizon, Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) is experimenting with a platform that offers free, short-form video, which can be shared across social channels.
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