It’s normal for apps and products to go through multiple iterations. go90 is on its third product update, which rolled out late last night. The functionality, including a new ad unit and changes to the overall user experience, looks a lot like Vessel, from which the underlying technology was acquired by Verizon earlier this year.
According to a blog post published by GM Chip Canter, the product changes mark “a pivotal step across the aesthetic and technical, putting go90 in a position for faster future development and deployment.”
With the update, go90 is also making the experience easier for its partners, who have expressed frustration about delivery and upload systems to go90’s team, according to sources. The new product will enable authenticated channels and a better publisher flow.
But the two biggest changes include discovery and a new ad offering.
According to Canter’s blog post, the team has instated a new discovery algorithm to enhance the user experience and likely to keep viewers watching longer. Discovery has been an ongoing issue for premium video publishers whose shows rarely get seen in what has become a serious chicken-egg problem.
To appeal to advertisers, go90 has adapted a new unit — one Vessel’s team built that offers a magazine-like ad experience. go90 has coined this unit “MoPo” short for “Motion Posters” that Canter says “will drive engagement advertisers want and in an experience audiences find seamless and non-disruptive.” It’s been rumored that this ad unit was on the docket during Vessel founders Jason Kilar and Richard Tom’s time at Hulu, but that the teams couldn’t get buy-in. The format then appeared on the now-defunct premium short form-focused Vessel accompanied by a micro-pre-roll ad unit.
go90 may face difficulty in getting adoption for the unit on account of having brands adapt to a new format for a platform that offers limited scale and reach. But Verizon will continue to leverage its own media services team as well as the ad stack won from Verizon’s acquisition of AOL.
Verizon has a lot of changes in the works for go90 and its video offering — from content strategy, to ad product, to value add for users, but it’s a step in what is likely to be an ongoing evolution as the streaming destination gains more data and more users.
“This [update] is another step in the direction of fulfilling our vision of becoming a destination for premium content for a generation that is inherently mobile,” added Canter.