The death of Go90, Verizon’s millennial-focused mobile video service, keeps getting more expensive for the company, with the telecom giant sharing that it lost hundreds of millions of dollars on it during its Q2 earnings report on Tuesday.
Verizon said a $658 million write-down was “mainly related to the discontinuation” of Go90. That comes after the service was shuttered last month — and after Verizon sunk $200 million into content and marketing during the platform’s three-year run.
Moving forward, the company won’t be producing video content anytime soon.
“We are not going to be owning content,” Lowell McAdam, Verizon’s outgoing CEO, said on the company’s earnings call. “We are not going to be competing with other content providers. We are going to be their best partner from a distribution perspective, and that makes a lot of great sense.”
Go90 launched in 2015 as Verizon’s bet on short-form video, complete with a Kanye West performance at its inaugural event. “The Runner,” a Ben Affleck and Matt Damon-produced competitive reality show, followed soon after. But the service failed to gain much of an audience, despite Verizon’s investment, as it battled to gain an audience against more established video services like YouTube.
One standout from Go90’s brief life was “Dear Basketball,” Kobe Bryant’s Oscar-winning short film.
Making matters worse for Verizon, the company took a $339 million hit for severance charges, and another $120 million was paid for “integration-related charges” stemming from Oath, its AOL-Yahoo combination. Still, the company reported better-than-expected revenue and earnings for the quarter, even after the $900 million ding post-taxes.