Ad agency holding company Publicis Groupe has signed on for a year-long commitment to go90, AOL’s new millennial-focused mobile video service. Publicis’ clients will have a 3-month exclusive on ad inventory starting in Q4 ’15. AOL and Publicis did not disclose the size of the commitment, but the WSJ reported it’s worth $50 million and includes 10+ Publicis clients.
According to the release, Publicis will also get first access to “data segmentation capabilities and new ad units with full creative support from testing through launch, and early access to Verizon and AOL data management platform targeting in Q1 ’16.” Publicis clients will also have access to a new AOL program called “Head Start” which provides “insight on the look and feel of go90’s user experience as new features are rolled out.”
Go90 is a free ad-supported service, which includes a range of premium content from sources such as NFL, ESPN, Scripps, CBS Sports, Comedy Central, DreamWorks, Vice, Discovery, Endemol Beyond, Awesomeness TV and others, as well a slate of short-form originals Verizon has commissioned. The early reviews of the user experience have been positive, though go90 is entering a highly-competitive landscape and is targeting a notoriously fickle millennial audience.
Still, go90 is shaping up as one of the more interesting mobile-first video experiments. Ironically, Samsung just said that it’s giving up on its Milk Video mobile app as of November 20th. Milk didn’t have the range of content that go90 has, but still shows the risks in introducing new mobile video services.