Verizon has been looking for ways to continue to bring in money, even with smartphone upgrades slowing down, and fewer customers jumping between carriers. One way to bring in more money is with mobile video. So Verizon launched Go90, which is their own streaming service, and it's a big reason why they bought AOL, and why they are interested in buying Yahoo. As with any streaming service, a big issue for them is finding original content to put on their service. As putting content that you can find on other services doesn't help Go90 stand out, and bring in more customers.
The latest hire for Verizon is a step in that direction. Verizon has hired Ivana Kirkbride. She will be working for Verizon as the "Chief Content Officer" for Go90. Kirkbride has spent time at YouTube – albeit a short stint (from 2011 to 2015) – and is currently working as the VP of content acquisition for Vessel, another video startup. One thing is certain here with Kirkbride, she definitely has the experience that Verizon is looking for. Kirkbride will be working from Verizon's Los Angeles base, and will be working to create original series and channels for Go90.
This is another step that Verizon is taking to get Go90 to truly take off. Earlier this year, the telecommunication company bought a stake in AwesomenessTV to help boost the content that Go90 offers. That was after it acquired AOL for its video and ad technology. Go90 is currently free, and is ad-based. Verizon customers are able to use Go90 without it using up their data (all kinds of net neutrality issues there).
As far as Kirkbride's current job at Vessel, this isn't a good move for the struggling video startup. Jason Kilar, who is the CEO of Vessel and former CEO of Hulu, said in a prepared statement that they "wish Ivana well in her next adventure with Go90 and are very thankful for the time Ivana invested in serving creators here at Vessel." There's no word on when exactly Kirkbride will be beginning her job with Verizon, but it likely won't be too far down the road.