As if we didn’t already have enough options for live-TV streaming services, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam confirmed during a telecom conference that the cell carrier plans to launch its own over-the-top (OTT) TV streaming service in the near future.
Verizon is currently closing an acquisition deal with Yahoo, which is expected to be finalized in June. Once that deal is signed and Verizon takes over Yahoo and AOL, McAdam says the company plans to use the two platforms and their combined 1.3 billion users to test this future streaming service.
While this is a major move for the company, it won’t be Verizon’s first streaming service. Go90 is the company’s on-demand video service, functioning similarly to Netflix or Hulu. You would be forgiven for having never heard of it, though. The service has been unable over its nearly two years of life to attain a userbase to go toe-to-toe with the various other on-demand services out there. Despite this, Verizon has made numerous investments into original content for the service despite its smaller share of the market in hopes of drawing more users. It even carries content from high-profile internet content creators like Rooster Teeth, Vice, Funny Or Die, Elite Daily, and more. Further, thanks to an exclusivity deal, NFL games can be streamed on the service.
Sadly, these strategies haven’t worked, with Go90 facing recent layoffs and even going through major overhauls. Despite the previous rocky path of video streaming for Verizon, having 1.3 billion potential testers for a future service seems like a good place to start. Should original content and perks like NFL streaming show up on Verizon’s upcoming service, it could pose as competition to what os out there now, including YouTube TV, Hulu, DirecTV Now, PlayStation Vue, SlingTV… did we miss any?
We do not know when the service will be officially launched but since it depends on the finalization of the Yahoo deal in June, we don’t expect Verizon to announce anything until after that time.