Verizon announces Go90 updates in effort to save cash-burning video platform

Go90 3.0 (Image: Go90)

Verizon’s mobile-centric video platform Go90 is getting a series of updates dubbed “3.0” as the company struggles to resuscitate its flailing project.

Chip Canter, Verizon’s general manager of digital entertainment, said the imminent updates are intended to enhance “content discovery, programming and merchandising through design, deeper and broader algorithmic search & recommendation and experience.”

In a blog post, Canter said the updates will roll out to Android and iOS over the next couple of days and will make better use of Verizon Digital Media Services platform and the AOL Advertising stack.

For users, Go90 is redesigning its UX and discovery, as well as revamping the navigation menu at the bottom of the screen. Users will get improved recommendations and “prioritized” live events to better position content from the NFL and NBA.

Advertisers will now be able to use motion posters (or “MoPos,” as Canter calls them) to combine video display ads with targeting data. For content partners, Go90 is adding new features like partner wordmarks, verified accounts and dedicated series landing pages.

Go90 also now has a partner portal designed to ease content partners’ access to uploading and metrics.

“Finally, this is all to say we’ve completed a pivotal step across the aesthetic and technical putting go90 in a position for faster future development and deployment,” Canter said.

RELATED: Verizon’s Go90 ‘almost doesn’t exist at this point,’ analyst says

On the same day the new Go90 3.0 surfaces, Business Insider debuted a report talking with Verizon insiders about why the service has failed to catch on since it was launched in 2015. According to the report, Go90 quickly burned through a $200 million content budget after its launch. And Verizon reportedly spent $80 million just on launch marketing for the service.

Unsurprisingly, the platform’s lackluster growth has caused some analysts to put perhaps hyperbolic labels on Go90, declaring the service “dead.”

Speaking to FierceOnlineVideo, Frost & Sullivan analyst Dan Rayburn said Go90 was “pretty much” deceased, adding that “No one uses it. It almost doesn't exist at this point.”

Rayburn's comments more or less line up with other analysts' views.

“They either sink more money into content on the chance it doesn’t bear fruit, or they don’t invest enough and the service never catches fire,” Amy Yong, an analyst with Macquarie Group Ltd., told Bloomberg.