Verizon says TV streaming could be added to Go90; analyst lauds mobile video service

While Verizon's (NYSE: VZ) new video service is currently targeted to millennial-age mobile users, it might be expanded later to include over-the-top viewing on living-room TV sets. 

"We said, 'Let's start with a mobile-first product,'" Marni Walden, Verizon's president of product innovation and new businesses, said to Reuters. "The thought is that there could be a companion product that would come at some point in the future that could be in-home [for TVs]." 

Verizon sent out private invitations to 5 million customers for its Go90 over-the-top mobile video service ahead of a nationwide launch later this month, Walden said. 

Speaking at CTIA in Las Vegas Wednesday -- an event covered by FierceWireless -- Walden said Verizon is targeting millennial-aged consumers, 30 and under. The 5 million invitees represents about 5 percent of Verizon's 103.7 million retail postpaid wireless connections.

Verizon, of course, already operates a major programming conduit into the U.S. living-room flatscreen with the FiOS pay-TV service.

Go90 is offering a mix of short-form content from Internet video specialists like Maker Studios, Awesomeness TV, Vice Media and Machinima, and longer form series programming from traditional outlets including ESPN, Comedy Central, NFL Network, Food Network and Scripps. The service -- named after the slang term used for tilting a smart phone into landscape mode -- also includes live NFL games and concerts. 

The service is offered free to consumers, with Verizon monetizing it through advertising, augmented ad tech acquired in its $4.4 billion AOL purchase over the spring. 

If it were to become a hit with its young-adult target demo, Verizon might consider adding an OTT app to the Go90 offering.

"Our focus is all on our mobile product today," Walden said to Reuters. "We have to be successful with this product first and then we would have the right to say, 'Yes, let's go do the companion.'"  

Early on, at least one analyst believes Verizon has created a service that will connect with its hard-to-reach young mobile consumer.

"By combining short-form video from YouTube creators with clips and programs from TV networks like Comedy Central and Discovery, Verizon has pulled together a content bouquet that should prove quite attractive to viewers, particularly at the current price point (that is, zero)," said Alan Wolk, an senior analyst for The Diffusion Group.

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