Verizon’s sale of its media and ad tech group to Apollo today raises questions over whether the ad tech ventures of other large telecommunications rivals still make sense, ad industry executives say. It also leaves the ad world wondering how to work with the new Yahoo moving forward.
“There are very few examples of advertising businesses by telecommunications companies,” says Brian Wieser, global president of business intelligence at GroupM. “Where it has been successful is when the businesses have been run completely separately.” Still, he says, the most important element of Verizon Media’s ad tech empire has been its access to individual user data through its AOL and Yahoo email services. “That’s what causes [users] to come back to their properties on a frequent basis,” says Wieser. “That’s what at its heart differentiates itself from other businesses.”
The new Yahoo is telling agencies the sale won’t disrupt how it works with advertisers. According to an email sent to agencies this morning and reviewed by Ad Age, the new Yahoo will still have access to Verizon’s data. “Our connected ad platforms will remain at the forefront, offering our customers industry-leading DSP, SSP, Search and Exchange solutions,” the email says. “We will continue to lead the way on Identity, Unified Stack solutions, Premium supply, emerging formats like OTT [over-the-top] and DOOH [digital-out-of-home], and advanced omni-channel solutions. Our 1st-party data and trusted content through our owned and operated properties remains strong.”