mobile videoIt’s become common knowledge that young adult Millennials are at the leading edge of a fundamental shift in video viewing habits and preferences. Major telcos and others are keen to build broader and deeper commercial relationships with the Millennial generation, as the announcement of a new Verizon Hearst joint venture illustrates.

The telecom giant and media company on March 2 announced they have formed Verizon Hearst Media Partners to develop video programming specifically for the mobile Millennial audience.

Two multi-platform video channels are anticipated to be the joint venture’s first fruits. The partners expect to launch RatedRed.com and Seriously.TV  this spring. Both are to be distributed via go90, AOL and other platforms, as well as via third-party networks and licensees.

The Verizon Hearst Joint Venture
Both long-established incumbents in their commercial sectors, Verizon and Hearst are taking on the role of disruptive new participants in digital media, content distribution and advertising technology in launching the JV and its multi-platform digital video channels, Verizon SVP of consumer product and marketing Brian Angiolet pointed out.

“On the heels of our acquisition of AOL and the launch of go90, developing a portfolio of content enables us to capitalize on the forces transforming the mobile ecosystem,¨ he was quoted as saying. ¨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 intends to establish itself as the leading digital video brand for ¨Millennials from the heartland,¨ the partners elaborated. It is to provide targeted news updates, documentaries, scripted and non-scripted series. Topics are to include music, food, outdoor life, military affairs, politics and faith.

Seriously.TV will also be a multi-platform digital video service for Millennials, but one that offers comedic news updates throughout the day, times when younger viewers are watching videos via smartphones as opposed to late night viewing of similarly minded TV programs.

Verizon and Hearst aim to have both new channels up and running in time for NewFronts, an annual event series for advertisers and media buyers.

“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,” Neeraj Khemlani, co-president of Hearst Entertainment & Syndication, commented.

“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.”

Image courtesy of flickr user Kirill Kniazev.