Verizon has acquired a 24.5 percent stake in the online network AwesomenessTV, and will launch a new premium video service with the network that will launch on its Go90 service. The new service will focus on short-form content featuring dramas and comedies geared toward teens, as Verizon continues on its quest to attract a younger user base. Verizon's stake in AwesomenessTV values the company at $650 million.
This is Verizon's second deal with AwesomenessTV, after agreeing to a multi-year deal with the channel last year to provide 200 hours of content. Shows from the network have already found success on Go90, according to Marni Walden, Verizon's executive vice president of product. "The content AwesomenessTV has produced for go90 has exceeded all our expectations," Walden said in a statement. "AwesomenessTV has demonstrated an ability to zero in on programming that Gen Z and millennials want to watch."
The content funded by the deal will be exclusive to Verizon in the US, but AwesomenessTV retains the right to sell that content internationally. The new premium service won't be completely free either, according to TechCrunch. Verizon has the ability to put content from the service behind a paywall, but the details about how that would play out — paying per episode or for an entire season for example — are still being worked out, according to the publication.