Verizon has hired thousands of people to create the video service it says will replace cable TV

Lowell McAdam Verizon 8282
Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam. Business Insider

It’s no secret that the traditional cable TV business is in trouble, as younger millennial cord-cutters don’t see a need to pay for TV service.

Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam think his company’s recently launched go90 mobile video service will emerge as the new standard for television viewing, by letting consumers anywhere in the country watch video on their smartphones.

“The 300 channel bundle is going to continue to break down,” McAdam said at the Business Inisder IGNITION conference in New York on Tuesday. As that breakdown happens, Verizon’s mobile video service will fill the void, providing some long-form, but mostly short-form programming, he said.

Verizon launched go90 in September as a free, ad-supported mobile video service. McAdam said the company would not disclose user numbers until next year, but said that the numbers are higher than the company’s internal projections and that the number of repeat users is especially encouraging.

Since the launch, Verizon has been striking deals to build a catalogue of exclusive and non-exclusive video content for the service, including everything from sports to Comedy Central shows.

And as the company’s high-speed 5G wireless service rolls out, in trials next year and more broadly in 2017, McAdam said the video service will become even more appealing.

Verizon isn’t the only company looking to reinvent the television business: Google’s YouTube, Facebook, and countless other media companies and start-ups are setting their sights on the market and the tens of billions of dollars in advertising revenue that come with it.

McAdam acknolwedged that a telephone company might not seem like the most likely player to re-invent a market through innovation.

But he said the company is putting lots of resources into the effort.

“We have literally a couple thousand people in Silicon Valley in a facility that are integrated into the Valley that are working with some of these startup companies,” he said.

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