Verizon, Hearst form mobile millennial video JV | Mobile | News | Rapid TV News
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Verizon and Hearst have agreed to form a joint venture to develop digital video programming targeting the mobile millennial audience.

As millennial preference and behaviour continues to rapidly drive new video consumption models, the venture - which will be known as Verizon Hearst Media Partners following the completion of Verizon's investment - will pair Verizon's leading technology and Hearst's digital video content and production capabilities.

Initially, the JV will develop two channels of video programming, RatedRed.com and Seriously.TV, to be distributed across Verizon’s go90 service, AOL and other distribution platforms, as well as through third-party networks and licensors.

"Verizon Hearst Media Partners represents the next step in the development of our media strategy, which is focused on disruption that is occurring in digital media, content distribution and ad tech, and involves building a video platform for digitisation, formatting, delivery and commerce," said Brian Angiolet, Verizon's senior vice president of consumer product and marketing.

"On the heels of our acquisition of AOL and the launch of go90, developing a portfolio of content enables us to capitalise on the forces transforming the mobile ecosystem. In Hearst, not only have we found a partner with deep domain expertise, but also one who shares our point of view on the opportunities created by shifting paradigms and what it will take to win while creating the networks of the future."

RatedRed.com will be a channel for millennials from the heartland, offering this audience a brand of their own, with a lens on the world via news updates, documentaries and scripted and non-scripted series across topics like music, food, outdoor life, military affairs, politics and faith. Seriously.TV will offer comedic news updates throughout the day at a time when younger viewers are turning to their phones instead of late-night programming for their take on world events.

Verizon Hearst Media Partners will be headquartered in New York City. Both channels are expected to launch in time for the NewFronts ad-buying season.

"Hearst has invested in some of the most robust millennial-focused digital video networks — from BuzzFeed and Vice to AwesomenessTV and Complex — and we are excited to add Verizon as a partner to continue to build and invest in this space," said Neeraj Khemlani, co-president of Hearst Entertainment & Syndication. "It's the dawn of a new era of video brands for the next generation of viewers and in Verizon, we have found a partner with unparalleled ad, video and mobile technology that will accelerate the launch of new digital video channels for this mobile-first audience."