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Verizon Communications is launching a trial version of its new mobile video service, aiming to prove that telecom players can compete with Google and Facebook.
The service, a mobile app dubbed “go90”, will be offered initially to a select set of its own customers, with advertisements from well-known brands but without newly acquired ad technology from AOL, the media company it bought in June for $4.4 billion.
Verizon is targeting millennials with about 100 to 200 hours of exclusive content from online video networks such as AwesomenessTV and Machinima, said Brian Angiolet, Verizon’s senior vice president, consumer products. The free service will drive revenue from data usage and targeted advertising.
The AOL technology is in the process of being integrated with Verizon’s video service, and targeted advertising tools will be available over time, Angiolet said.
The service may launch officially to all users later this month, Verizon said.
Verizon is in talks with advertisers and brands about content sponsorships and original-content creation, Angiolet said. The service lets users post comments, form interest-based groups and clip and share videos in social networks, he added.
Content partners include Comedy Central, Food Network, ESPN, Discovery Network and VH1.