As if Microsoft purchasing Linkedin wasn’t enough excitement already, there’s a new deal this week that is bound to have an effect on digital advertising. Verizon, the largest wireless carrier, has purchased Yahoo for $4.8 billion in cash. This includes all of Yahoo’s most valuable assets, like mail, news, sports, and most importantly, advertising. They plan to unite the company with AOL, who they recently acquired for $10 billion. By bringing the two companies together, Verizon hopes to break into the digital advertising industry and likely become ad giant #3 behind Google and Bing.
What does this mean for marketers?
It’s too early to know exactly how this will pan out for Verizon, but what we do know is that they have millions of customers, and, in marrying this to AOL and Yahoo signed in users, they’ll know what those customers are doing. Whether or not they will actually be allowed to combine their customer tracking with Yahoo’s is still in question.
They do, however, have the resources for success. With Verizon’s 112 million retail subscribers, mobile advertisements are an extremely profitable option for them. Additionally, Yahoo includes Gemini and BrightRoll: two tech advertising assets that focus on video and mobile advertising. Verizon will also have access to 600 million mobile users on Yahoo’s many online sites. This audience plus the advertising technology plus an extensive data set about so many users them could result in significant mobile advertising growth for Verizon as a revenue source, and a competitive edge against companies like Google and Bing.
Ultimately, how this will drive competition depends on the strategy Verizon will use, and the scope they will have on user data.
The finalization of the whole purchase is unlikely to happen before 2017 but it will be something we will, of course, be keeping a close eye on.