Friday, March 11, 2016

Verizon Go90 "Off to a Slow Start," But it Doesn't Matter

The Verizon Wireless Go90 mobile video service is “off to a slow start,” says a UBS report, based on a study of app downloads at the Apple iOS store.

“Go90 appears to be off to a slow start, with its best showing around number 300 when ranked against all apps in the iTunes store and number 20 when ranked against other entertainment apps,” the UBS report says.

“We believe Go90 will be hard-pressed to mount a meaningful challenge to mobile video and social networking leaders YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Netflix and Hulu,” says analyst John Hodulik.

Many observers would agree with all the initial assertions. Few telco applications or services ever get off to a fast start. Name one!

It likely also is the case that Go90 will not challenge Facebook, YouTube, Netflix, Snapchat, Instagram or Hulu. Few observers would disagree with that assessment, either.

To be fair to Verizon, even Verizon likely would agree that Go90 is not going to be bigger than those other consumer names. But Go90 still could be important for Verizon’s business and revenue model.

If Verizon Go90 only grabs a reasonable share of the developing mobile entertainment market, it is a big win.

It always is possible that Go90 in fact will drive more revenue, and more profit for Verizon, than linear video presently does.

But Go90 does not fundamentally have to represent a market as big as linear video is today. It does have to glue customers to Verizon, and drive a reasonable share of users to Verizon, instead of other providers.

The Go90 mobile video service currently is ad-supported and free to users. If you have tried it, you will clearly see that it is true to its mission, targeting millennials (adults ages 18 to 34) and gen Zers (teens).

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