Verizon Media Expands Its Ad Sales Deal With Microsoft

Verizon Media Expands Its Ad Sales Deal With Microsoft

By  |  January 21, 2021  |  Uncategorized  |  No Comments

Verizon Media is expanding its long-standing ad sales arrangement with Microsoft as the telecom giant’s ad-tech unit looks to solidify its footing in the marketplace.

The telecom’s supply-side platform now represents display inventory for MSN and Outlook, adding to the video, search, native and Xbox inventory the ad-tech unit sells on behalf of Microsoft.

After years of integrations, leadership changes and rebranding following the $4.8 billion acquisition of Yahoo in 2016, Verizon Media is establishing its ad-tech business as a scaled, viable offering in a marketplace that’s otherwise dominated by Google, Facebook, Amazon and The Trade Desk.

“It’s been a growth line,” Iván Markman, Verizon Media’s chief business officer, said. “While you’re integrating, that line moves slower. Once you have integrated, now your teams can have a ton more focus, so you’ll begin to ship capabilities into a market a lot faster.”

Verizon Media has been Microsoft’s preferred SSP since 2015, when the tech giant struck a deal with AOL, which Verizon had recently acquired at the time for $4.4 billion.

Despite its big investments in digital media, Verizon struggled to integrate its array of ad offerings under Oath. By September 2018, Verizon took a $4.6 billion write off of Oath, valuing the business at only $200 million. By that December, Tim Armstrong, former AOL CEO and leader of Oath, left the company.

Now rebranded as Verizon Media, the business has seemingly bounced back. Kevin Mannion, president and chief strategy officer of Advertiser Perceptions, said Verizon Media has “gained a lot of ground” in the last year and a half, adding that it’s made significant progress integrating its disparate offerings and messaging a clearer value proposition to potential customers.

“I wouldn’t have bet two years ago that Verizon would be able to get to the place where they are,” Mannion said.

Verizon Media operates the fourth-most-popular SSPs among publishers, according to a report last May from Advertiser Perceptions.

The business’s demand-side platform also saw a 33% increase of accounts in Q3 of 2020 compared to the year prior, Verizon CFO Matt Ellis said during the company’s most recent earnings call.

Microsoft and Verizon Media are the third- and fourth-most-trafficked publishers in the United States, according to Comscore. Verizon Media is the preferred SSP for Microsoft’s supply in the U.S., United Kingdom, France, Italy, Canada, Germany, Japan, Brazil and Spain.

About the Author: Andrew Blustein

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