Digital Video NewFronts

Verizon uses mobile might to get Oath apps on Samsung phones

By Published on .

Credit: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg

Oath is packing Samsung's flagship phone with apps from Yahoo and AOL in the first deal of its kind for Verizon's new digital-media division.

The mobile mash-up, which applies to phones signed up for Verizon plans but not other carriers, was announced just as Oath kicked its NewFronts presentation to advertisers in New York City, an event hosted by Jamie Foxx where it showed off digital video including 10 new series to run on AOL and Yahoo properties.

Verizon has combined HuffPost, Yahoo Sports, Go90 and other media brands under Oath, which was forged from the parent company's acquisitions of AOL and Yahoo.

The deal with Samsung means Galaxy S9 phones on Verizon plans will come preloaded with four apps: Verizon's Go90 video service, a Yahoo News spinoff called Newsroom, Yahoo Sports and Yahoo Finance. The inclusion on Samsung's top phone is the type of payoff that Verizon hoped for when it bought AOL and Yahoo.

Verizon has been trying to multiply its market power by integrating its 150 million mobile subscribers and the 1.3 billion monthly users it claims to reach through AOL and Yahoo.

The company has a compelling data story to tell advertisers on top of that mobile platform, with household insights into all those paying subscribers and the ability to reach them through digital marketing on mobile devices. Preloading its apps on Samsung phones gives Verizon that much more potential reach and data.

Samsung is No. 1 in smartphone sales worldwide, just ahead of Apple, according to Gartner.

Verizon already sells preloaded app deals to brands on phones coming out of its retail stores.

Verizon also has a deal with the National Football League to let subscribers stream home teams' games through Oath mobile apps like Yahoo Sports. Oath is just starting to package those mobile NFL deals and pitch them to advertisers.

With its NewFronts presentation now done, Oath's sales team can use the NFL as a way to get in the door with more brands and show the rest of its digital video series.

Oath did not have any advertisers yet for any of the programs it showed off at Tuesday's event, and hasn't revealed any NFL sponsors either.

~ ~ ~
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article said Galaxy S9 phones would come preloaded with AOL and Yahoo apps. Those apps will only come pre-installed on Galaxy S9 phones subscribed to a Verizon plan.

Most Popular