New go90 app
Verizon (VZ) initiated go90, its mobile first OTT (or over-the-top) service, in October 2015. The company has boosted this offering with a new version of the application. According to a recent report by Multichannel News, “Verizon confirmed that the latest version of go90, version 2.0, for iOS and Android mobile devices supports video casting to Apple TV boxes as well as the Google Chromecast streaming adapters.” The company also said that this “marks the first time go90 content has been optimized for the big screen.”
Verizon’s go90 and past acquisitions
Last June, the telecom player completed the acquisition of AOL. go90 got AOL’s content as well as advertising capabilities. According to Verizon, it’s integrating go90 with AOL to a higher level to increase the viewership and in turn the advertising revenues. Fran Shammo, Verizon’s CFO, talked about this earlier at the recent Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Telecom & Media Conference.
AOL is not the only prior transaction that Verizon is leveraging for go90. The telecom player’s recent transactions have boosted the service. According to the company, Edge Cast, a CDN (or content delivery network) and upLynk, a multi-device video encoding service, enhanced its capabilities to distribute video content efficiently. Verizon bought these companies earlier in 2013.
Additionally, Verizon got OnCue, Intel’s (INTC) Internet TV service, in 2014. Moreover, Verizon used OnCue’s technology in the user interface of the go90 service.
For diversified exposure to telecom companies in the US, you can consider investing in the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY). The ETF had a total of ~2.7% in AT&T (T), Verizon, CenturyLink (CTL), Level 3 Communications (LVLT), and Frontier Communications (FTR) at the end of May 2016.