Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg

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Verizon has pulled back on its once-big media and advertising ambitions.

The telecom giant just sold Verizon Media to private-equity firm Apollo Global Management for $5 billion. The deal includes Techcrunch, Engadget, Yahoo, AOL and Verizon’s advertising technology.

The sale marks a big strategic change for Verizon, which spent $9 billion to acquire AOL and Yahoo. Verizon hoped to use its telecom data to build an advertising and media powerhouse to compete with Google and Facebook. But Verizon since wrote down its media investments by $4.6 billion and sold off media businesses including HuffPost, Tumblr, and Mapquest.

“The whole premise was flawed — in the long term, you can’t use consumer data without the perception of violating consumer data,” said Brian Weiser, global president of business intelligence at WPP’s GroupM. “The end of this effort was always very clear.”

But Verizon Media Group CEO Guru Gowrappan, who will continue to run the company under Apollo, see it differently. He told Insider it was Apollo that approached Verizon for its media properties and the new ownership would invest in areas including:

Editorial: It plans to hire and put resources into its websites including Yahoo Finance, TechCrunch and Engadget.
Commerce: This includes everything involving transactions, including sports betting, which Gowrappan said has grown 187% year-over-year. 
Subscriptions: Yahoo said it had 3 million paying subscribers across AOL, Yahoo Finance Plus and TechCrunch’s Extra Crunch.
Advertising: Gowrappan said advertising across areas like connected TV and digital out-of-home had attracted new clients and grown 45% year-over-year.

“We’ve hit a junction point in a good way — at some point, you start thinking that you can be 10X who you are today, but to do that, you need the right partner,” he said. “It’s a win for Verizon [because] they can focus on what’s core, it’s a win for Verizon …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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