After months of hearing about a summer launch for Verizon’s mysterious OTT (over the top) Internet TV service, we’re now getting a closer look at what it will look like, as the company has closed a deal that will add 200 hours of programming per year from two Dreamworks properties: AwesomenessTV and DreamworksTV.
If you’ve never heard of either service, then you’re probably legally able to drink alcohol. They’re both extremely specialized offerings that seem tailor-made for Verizon’s service, targeted to launch on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, which is where younger viewers consume a large portion of their video content.
AwesomenessTV carries scripted and reality programming aimed directly towards teens and younger millennials, while DreamworksTV is more family oriented, carrying “both live action and animated short-form content as well as some of DreamWorks Animation’s most recognizable characters.” That could potentially include characters from movies like How to Train Your Dragon, or Shrek, though no specifics were disclosed.
If today’s announcement is any indication of the kind of content Verizon is looking to acquire, it appears the megacorp’s new service will be an extremely niche offering, less likely to compete with live Web TV services like Dish’s Sling TV, and focused on mobile viewers who prefer the quick blips from services like FunnyOrDie and Youtube over long-form programming. That strays from current video offerings from Verizon that appeal to a broader audience, like NFL Mobile.
The press release claims AwesomenessTV — which also includes content provider ATV Networks — is “one of the most popular and best watched,” multi-platform services online especially among teen viewers. The service claims it has garnered over 7 billion views from its YouTube channel, and claims to host 112 million subscribers. The service is also behind original programming elsewhere around the web, including the new Netflix series Richie Rich.
“It’s increasingly clear that ‘mobile first’ is the way millennials are consuming all types of content, especially HD video and music,” said Terry Denson, vice president, content acquisition and strategy at Verizon in the press release. “At Verizon, we’re committed to working with only the best and most innovative content providers, like AwesomenessTV, and driving opportunities as new content models emerge and customers experience the most in-demand and popular video in entirely new ways.”
Verizon’s new service is expected to go live sometime this summer, and will no doubt continue to ramp up content leading up to the launch.