As Verizon's Go90 launches, Samsung to shutter its Milk mobile video service

Samsung announced it will discontinue its Milk Video mobile service in November. The service launched around a year ago offering short video clips to Samsung smartphone users.

"While we remain committed to providing premium entertainment services, we have decided to end support for the Samsung Milk Video app as of November 20, 2015," Samsung wrote on Google Play. Variety first reported the announcement.

Samsung's move is noteworthy considering Verizon is gearing up for a major public launch of its Go90 mobile video service. Verizon has been preparing the service for months, inking deals with the likes of Vice and AwesomenessTV to offer short video clips to mobile users. The Go90 service does not include entire networks' roster of shows, but rather includes popular shows from Comedy Central, Food Network, ESPN, Scripps, HuffPost Live, NFL Network and Discovery, as well as popular online series from DreamWorks Animation's AwesomenessTV, Vice Media, Tastemade, Maker Studios and Machinima. Go90 will also feature National Football League games and live concerts. Verizon has contracted for hundreds of hours of exclusive content for Go90, according to Verizon Communications CEO Lowell McAdam, who said at a recent Goldman Sachs investor conference that Go90 will support both long-form content and "snackable" content of much shorter durations. Verizon expects to initially make money on the offering by serving targeted ads to users.

As noted by Variety, Samsung's Milk attempted a similar service by licensing content from the likes of Vice, Funny or Die and others for exclusive short-form content. Samsung added clips from YouTube, Vevo and other sources to bulk up the offering. Samsung initially offered Milk Video as a downloadable app, and eventually pre-loaded the app onto some of its flagship smartphones. The company said it would delete the app via an upcoming software update.

Variety earlier this year telegraphed the shutdown of Samsung's Milk Video when it reported that Kevin Swint, who previously ran Apple's iTunes video business, left Samsung. Samsung declined to comment to Variety on whether the Milk Video shutdown will include layoffs at the smartphone maker.

Samsung continues to offer Milk Music, which is powered by Slacker and offers free streaming radio.

Though Samsung is withdrawing from the mobile video space, the company is expanding on other fronts. Indeed, just this week Samsung launched its new Samsung Pay service. The service uses NFC technology to conduct mobile payments, as well as "Magnetic Source Transmission" technology, or MST, which allows Samsung Pay to work with the existing magnetic stripe readers that credit cards use. Samsung acquired MST company LoopPay in February.

But Samsung appears to be struggling against the launch of Apple's new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus and other high-end smartphones. Indeed, the company just announced a new promotion where it will pay up to $120 to customers who purchase one of the company's new Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge+, or Galaxy Note 5 smartphones.

For more:
- see this Samsung app
- see this Variety article

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