Verizon CFO Fran Shammo said the carrier’s Go90 mobile video service is beginning to catch on with advertisers as the benefits of the platform’s built-in ads and demographic targeting opportunities begin to make themselves apparent.
In comments delivered at the 2015 Wells Fargo Securities Technology, Media & Telecom Conference on Tuesday, Shammo said though the product is still immature advertisers are becoming more interested in what the service has to offer them.
“We’re starting to build more and more awareness around the advertising community about how we can deliver some demographics,” Shammo said. “That’s going to grow as time goes and that’s how we’re going to monetize this product.”
In the age of ad blockers, Shammo said Go90 offers advertisers the additional perk of continued visibility since the ads are built into the app and are thus unaffected by ad block technology.
Shammo said ongoing development of Go90 will continue to help the service mature, but stressed that the platform isn’t competing with services like Netflix and Hulu. So far, Shammo said the majority of users have been tuning in to Go90 for 20 to 30 minutes each day in several different sessions rather than sitting down for binge-watching sessions like users of Netflix and Hulu.
“Go90 is mobile content only in short clips,” he said. “It’s very different content. No one else does live content on a mobile handset. Netflix doesn’t do anything live. Hulu doesn’t do anything live. They’re more traditional over the top products. That’s not what Go90 is meant for.”
However, Shammo said Verizon is after a broad audience with both Go90 and its smart vehicle solution HUM, which he said is why the company has been careful not to associate its brand with the services.
“We want to make sure the user community doesn’t connect that I have to be a Verizon customer to use this content or plug in hum to my car,” Shammo said. “You don’t need to be a Verizon customer to download that app and enjoy that content. We’re going for more of the population than just Verizon customers.”
Though he said metrics for the service likely wouldn’t be discussed until the first quarter of next year, Shammo said Go90’s soft launch has been going well and noted that the company will begin advertising for the platform in earnest around Black Friday.
Launched on October 1, the Go90 platform now includes over 10,000 assets thanks to content deals with ESPN, Scripps Networks, CBS Sports, DreamWorks, Vice Media, Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, ID, the Science Channel, Endemol Beyond USA and New Form Digital, among others. Last week, Verizon announced it secured a deal with multi-year content and marketing deal with the National Basketball Association (NBA) that will make it the official wireless service provider of the NBA leagues and bring exclusive sports content to its Go90 mobile video service.
As of Tuesday, Go90 was number 32 among free iOS Entertainment apps and number 14 among Media and Video apps in the Google Play store according to app tracker App Annie.