With $50M in ad commitments, Verizon's Go90 launches to #14 in iOS entertainment app rankings

According to app-tracking company App Annie, Verizon's (NYSE: VZ) Go90 mobile video service landed at No. 14 in the "entertainment" category of Apple's U.S. App Store in its first 24 hours of availability, behind the likes of Netflix (No. 1), Hulu (#2), Kylie Jenner Official App (#8), Recolor - Coloring Book For Adults (#9) and Triller - Music Video Maker (#13). However, the app did end up ahead of Comcast's XFINITY TV Go (#19) and HBO NOW (#28).

Verizon's free Go90 app did not make it into the top 100 overall rankings of free apps on Apple's App Store, which is dominated by the likes of Facebook, YouTube, Apple apps and Remco Kortenoever's Smashy Road: Wanted.

An App Annie spokesperson said that it's unclear how the app performed on Google's Play app store as those results are not yet available.

"We're very pleased with the response and excited to launch Go90 and have a lot more content coming to the platform, so stay tuned," said Verizon spokesperson Deidre Hart, who declined to provide specifics on the performance of Go90.

Verizon's ad-supported Go90 app launched yesterday on iOS and Android offering users 8,000 titles and over 35 exclusive original series. Verizon said that catalog includes 15 of the 30 most-viewed network shows and nine of the 15 most-viewed shows on the web. Go90 aims to offer a mix of content from traditional TV networks alongside online video from the likes of Comedy Central, Food Network, ESPN, NFL Network, One World Sports, Discovery, VH1, MTV, SPIKE, TLC, Adult Swim, HGTV, BET, Investigation Discovery, New Form Digital and others, TechCrunch noted.

The app -- which is currently only available in app form and is not available on desktop computers or streaming TVs -- is available to users from any wireless carrier. However, Verizon is offering its own customers an extra 2 GB of data for the next three months if they download the app.

Citing a meeting with Tim Armstrong, the CEO of AOL and a key figure in Verizon's Go90 push, analysts at investment banking firm Jefferies noted that Verizon is hoping to grow into a "leading scaled OTT provider serving millions of customers while also becoming a top 3 player in the mobile advertising marketplace." Verizon recently acquired AOL for $4.4 billion, partly in an effort to boost its advertising toolset.

"Mr. Armstrong sees Go90 as differentiated relative to traditional OTT leaders, highlighting the (1) targeting of the youth demographic; (2) focus on live offerings (sports, news, concerts); (3) programming depth; and (4) social aspect (shared/joint viewing)," the analysts at Jefferies said in a note to investors. "Importantly, Verizon is focused on the underlying technology with plans to expand the white label platform globally via partners."

Indeed, Go90 has already received over $50 million in ad commitments, according to Advertising Age, which includes an upfront deal with Publicis Groupe.

For more:
- see this App Annie page
- see this TechCrunch article
- see this Advertising Age article

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