Advertising Digital Publishing
4 mins read

Q&A: Verizon Media Group and Oath Ad Platforms

Verizon Media Group (previously known as Oath and rebranded in December ’18) is a division of Verizon and reaches over a billion people globally through its tools and services, using premium ad environments to connect brands with consumers and grow publisher revenues. WNIP caught up with Stuart Flint, VP, EMEA, at Verizon Media’s London offices in Holborn to find out its 2019 plans.

Can you give us some background about your company?

Verizon Media is a global media tech company and a dynamic house of media brands that include HuffPost, Yahoo, AOL, TechCrunch, and Engadget. Oath Ad Platforms re-branded last month, although the name ‘Oath’ will be phased out gradually.

Our audiences believe in the quality of our content, which reaches across news, sports, finance, tech, entertainment, lifestyle, and everything in-between. And we’re one of the largest publishers to be certified ‘brand safe’ by JICWEBS, reflecting our commitment to creating better, safer experiences for both brands and consumers.

What business problem is your company addressing?

We want to simplify the publishing marketplace. Publishers face a complex web of partners to choose between and they’re rightly becoming more selective about who they work with. They’re looking for partners who add real value, and work transparently, but at the same time they’re concerned about brand safety, viewability, fraud,and GDPR.

Transparency around buyer KPIs is another issue, as it’s often unclear what buyers really want. Greater insights and transparency into this would help publishers to better package and manage their inventory, and ultimately deliver on those KPIs.

From what we’ve seen, publishers are looking for partners who can help them with the familiar battle of balancing new monetization opportunities and revenue with a good customer experience. In a world of GDPR and ‘fake news’, earning and maintaining consumer trust – both on their properties and off-platform – has never been more vital to publishers. If they can find partners who help them deliver high-quality experiences, while maintaining consumer privacy and upholding industry standards, then they’re on to a winner.

What is your core product addressing the problem?

We offer easy access to high-quality content, whether it’s via the open marketplace or our own team of content creators.

This can then be supercharged with a wealth of data and insights, gathered from more than a billion users globally, who we communicate with through a consolidated offering called Oath Ad Platforms. This combines the data science and performance capabilities of ONE by AOL with the omnichannel reach of BrightRoll and Yahoo Gemini, forming the foundation of a unified DSP.

Oath Ad Platforms addresses three core challenges publishers frequently face. First, we give them the means to diversify their monetisation strategy across all screens, by connecting to top-tier demand – including exclusive channels like OTT and programmatic audio. This allows publishers to grow their audience base and find new revenue opportunities through our premium content library and video syndication network.

Second, we create experiences people love, from dynamic native ads to next generation video content, helping publishers deliver engaging experiences across any device or channel. Finally, we allow publishers to take back control of their monetisation destiny. Powered by data and insights, they can forge deeper connections with consumers. Meanwhile, they can use robust tool and analytics, fuelled by proprietary Verizon data, to create new ways to scale their business and optimise revenue.

What are other people doing in the space?

The industry has been saturated for some time now, and we’ve seen plenty of consolidation as a result. Virtually all the major independent ad tech companies have been acquired, while numerous point solutions and ad networks have gone out of business in the last of years. On top of this, both advertisers and publishers are looking to reduce the number of partners within their stack, as they try to impose some kind of structure on a complex marketplace.

At Verizon Media, we’re in a unique position. Oath Ad Platforms stretches across numerous domains, allowing our ads to reach millions of consumers through globally recognised, trusted brands like Yahoo and HuffPost and premium third-party publishers in video, mobile, native and display formats. What’s more, our work is supported by proprietary technology that allows us to take advantage of the data and insights we’ve gathered from numerous campaigns, while presenting a clear offering for brands to harness in reaching their objectives.

But we feel that possibly our greatest asset is our culture. From top to bottom, we are passionate about being a transparent, collaborative partner who celebrates brands’ successes as if they were our own.

How you do view the future?

We’ll continue exploring how we can improve transparency and trust throughout the publishing and digital marketing chain. And we may have a little more consolidation work to do, as we evolve how we empower publishers and advertisers with our proprietary data.

In a rapidly evolving industry like ad tech, challenges pave the way for disruption and – eventually – improvement, across ways of working, solutions, and ad experiences. We feel the industry is on the cusp of real disruption, from new technology to future consolidation, and we can see a simpler, more effective future.

For now, we’ll continue testing, learning, and improving Oath Ad Platforms, as we help publishers harness the opportunities it offers.

Thank you.

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