Yahoo is no longer an independent entity. Verizon has purchased the service for $4.8 billion in a purchase that makes Verizon even larger than it was before. This broadband and cell phone company has quickly grown to become a major entity in the world of online marketing.
Advertisers have to take note whenever Verizon makes a move because it impacts them. Last year, the company purchased AOL for $4.4 billion, which gave it access to a range of technologies that allowed it to better target its ads.
So, how does the Verizon purchase impact advertisers?
First, it’s important to understand the context of the purchase of Yahoo. The AOL of 2015 is much like the Yahoo of 2016. Both of these companies rose to become household names in the 1990s and early 2000s. When mobile arrived, however, they lost their relevance and were outmaneuvered by their most agile competitors. They still existed, but only as a shadow of their former selves.
Both websites focused on building content to drive traffic and deliver ads. Yahoo and AOL were the third- and sixth-most-visited web properties as recently as February 2016, for example.
With the range of web properties and brands acquired by Verizon through this deal, advertisers are going to have more opportunities to advertise than ever before.
Marketers can do deals directly.
Larger marketers previously had to make deals with brands through running their deal by multiple partners. This meant advertising deals could take a long time to carry out. Opportunities were lost and competitors were able to get a crucial advantage.
That will change because brands will be able to deal with Verizon directly. The fact that these brands are under Verizon means marketers and brands no longer have to deal with those specific brands.
For example, Google would no longer have to make a search deal with Yahoo. Were that deal formed today, Google would do the deal with Verizon, and that deal would likely incorporate the rest of Verizon’s brands, including AOL.
Now, Verizon fully intends on keeping its newly acquired Yahoo-associated brand alive, so there will be just as many advertising opportunities as before.
Mobile video will become even bigger.
When one looks at the rise of mobile, it’s easy to see why Verizon decided to make this deal. Marketers are taking advantage of mobile and they will soon be able to take advantage of a combined mobile network and content-marketing machine.
Yahoo comes with an enormous amount of content. And this is content people are still reading on a regular basis. With more and more people reading from a mobile device, an unprecedented opportunity presents itself for marketers to hit mobile browsers.
Verizon runs one of the largest mobile networks in the United States, and it’s widely expected that the company will combine its mobile network with a huge cache of content. The content footprint will be much bigger, as a result.
Advertisers will find it easier to track their results.
What a lot of people haven’t yet talked about is how Verizon has managed to gain control of the Yahoo Gemini ad platform and the mobile analytics suite Flurry. Flurry is the interesting acquisition for advertisers because it’s universally recognized as one of the better ones for tracking results.
Verizon hasn’t made any announcements on the future of Flurry, but if it intends on appealing to advertisers, it will either keep or rebrand it.
Data that advertisers use will be cleaner.
Advertisers always want clean and accurate data when they deal with a platform. Yahoo has always had the problem of hosting thousands of Yahoo Mail accounts that are out of data and unused. It’s widely expected that Verizon will clean these up to demonstrate to advertisers that the data it has is relevant.
This is good news for marketers because they will know exactly where they stand when it comes to the numbers they have at their disposal. It’s not yet known whether these accounts will simply be deleted, though.
Will the new Yahoo acquisition provide another viable advertising platform for marketers?
Despite the coming together of two big brands like Yahoo and AOL, the number of regular users is still lacking compared to those on Facebook and Google. There’s still no competition there, but that doesn’t mean marketers should completely discount using Verizon as an advertising platform.
Mobile advertising is continuing to grow at an exponential rate, and Verizon controls a huge amount of the mobile network in the United States. The leveraging of this huge network could make Verizon a "must have" for mobile advertisers in the coming years.
In the meantime, advertisers should continue to monitor the progress of Verizon, including any future acquisitions.