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Verizon Go90 Largely Streamed Outside Telco's Network

24 Jan, 2017 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Verizon’s ad-supported streaming video app, go90, continues to generate usage — increasingly outside of the telecom’s broadband network, CFO Matt Ellis said on the company's Jan. 24 fiscal call.

Launched Oct. 1, 2015, go90 targets millennials and people who consume video entertainment, news and information on mobile devices. Content providers include the NBA, Comedy Central, Nerdist, IGN, Icon Network and DreamWorks TV, among others.

“The average daily usage was consistent sequentially at about 30 minutes per viewer, with less than 20% of traffic surfed on the Verizon wireless network in the second half of the year,” Ellis said.

Critics of go90, which leverages additional content from Hearst, Complex Media and AwesomenessTV, allege the service eats up monthly data, requiring users to upgrade to more-expensive plans.

To counter concerns, Verizon last year announced that its wireless subscribers could stream go90 videos over the telco's LTE network without incurring hits to their data plans. The LTE network has an average download speed of 31.1Mbps, while upload speeds range around 17.1Mbps.

This alternative has also brought scrutiny, with some observers suggesting Verizon and, separately, T-Mobile with its “Binge On” data-free platform, violate provisions of net neutrality, which mandate that all Internet traffic be treated equally.

Meanwhile, Verizon's pay-TV service Fios video added 21,000 subscribers in the fourth quarter, ended Dec. 31, 2016. For the fiscal year, it added 59,000 subs, for a total of 4.7 million, which Verizon claimed represents 34.3% market penetration.

“Similar to prior quarters, we continue to see strong demand for custom TV offerings,” Ellis said.

About the Author: Erik Gruenwedel

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