Verizon and powerhouse media company Hearst are teaming up on a new set of mobile TV channels that will target millennials.
According to Wednesday’s announcement, the channels will include RatedRed.com, a channel for “heartland” millennials with a Vice-like lineup of news updates, documentaries and scripted and non-scripted series across a variety of topics; and Seriously.TV, a comedy channel focused on current events and politics.
Verizon said the channels will be distributed across its go90 mobile video platform, AOL and “other” distribution platforms as well as third-party networks and licensors.
The new channels will be created through a joint venture of Verizon and Hearst called Verizon Hearst Media Partners, the company said. The agreement calls for a 50-50 investment from both companies, Verizon said.
“Verizon Hearst Media Partners represents the next step in the development of our media strategy, which is focused on disruption that is occurring in digital media, content distribution and ad tech, and involves building a video platform for digitization, formatting, delivery and commerce,” Verizon senior vice president of consumer product and marketing Brian Angiolet said.
In Hearst, not only have we found a partner with deep domain expertise, but also one who shares our point of view on the opportunities created by shifting paradigms and what it will take to win while creating the networks of the future,” he continued.
Verizon Hearst Media Partners will be headquartered in New York City, Verizon said. Additional details of the Hearst venture will be announced at a later date, the carrier said.
The move comes as Verizon looks to transform go90 from an expense into a profit machine through new content partnerships that will draw more viewers and boost data consumption.
Though Verizon CFO Fran Shammo has said go90 will likely not cross the line into profitability for another year or two, Verizon has recently been amping up its efforts around go90.
Last month, Verizon announced go90 will offer live streaming of out-of-market NBA games through NBA League Pass. That announcement came on the heels of a January deal that will see Sony Music bring even more original content – including a hidden camera show, an in-car karaoke competition series and live music events – to the platform.
In a February move to draw in mobile advertisers, Verizon announced it would offer sponsored data on the go90 platform through its FreeBee Data 360 service. The service allows advertisers to provide some or all of a customer’s mobile content without it counting against the consumer’s data allowance.