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Verizon's Oath chief hints Go90 video app may go away

Shows on Go90, Verizon's free mobile video app, are likely to be broken out and deposited in other parts of the Yahoo/AOL empire.

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Tim Armstrong has led Oath since Verizon combined its AOL and Yahoo takeovers into one media-focused division. 

Tim Armstrong, the CEO of Verizon's digital-media unit Oath, suggested that Go90, Verizon's free mobile video app, may be dismantled. 

The shows and programs in Go90 will be redistributed inside Oath's different distribution outlets, like HuffPost and Yahoo Finance, Armstrong said, adding that Go90's identity is morphing into that of a content engine and library more so than an standalone service.  

"The brand will remain I don't know how long," Armstrong said Tuesday at the Code Media conference in Huntington Beach, California. 

Verizon launched Go90 in 2015, as a wave of media and communications companies rushed into making their own apps and services for digital video. But like Go90, many of those ventures have sputtered. NBCUniversal's comedy video app Seeso folded, and Comcast pulled back on the original shows and digital-TV-like programming it was making for Watchable.

"Go90 was a super ambitious project, which was essentially trying to start an internet mobile video service from scratch," Armstrong said. "It was highly likely we're going to stub our toe a huge number of times."

Separately, Armstrong said he wasn't active in any deal discussions, when asked whether Twitter was an attractive property for Oath and Verizon to acquire. 

Verizon created Oath last year after completing its Yahoo takeover by mashing it together with AOL. Fittingly for a group inside the biggest mobile carrier in the US, Oath has been focused on mobile media since it was created.

In December, Verizon gave Oath a boost by widening its deal to stream NFL games on mobile devices to anyone who tunes in via Yahoo, placing one of the country's most valuable media properties on its newly expanded media arm. The NFL and Verizon have had a years-long partnership that kept live games off the phone belonging to anyone who wasn't a Verizon customer. 

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