Verizon Media is expanding its long-term ad sales agreement with Microsoft as the telecommunications giant’s ad tech unit seeks to consolidate its position in the marketplace.
The telecommunications supply-side platform now represents the display inventory for MSN and Outlook, complementing the video, search, native and Xbox inventory that the ad tech unit sells on behalf of Microsoft.
After years of integration, leadership change, and rebranding following the $ 4.8 billion acquisition of Yahoo in 2016, Verizon Media is establishing its ad tech business as a scaled, viable proposition in a market that is otherwise Google’s , Facebook, Amazon and The Trade Desk is dominated.
“It was a line of growth,” said Iván Markman, Verizon Media’s chief business officer. “During the integration, this line moves more slowly. Once you integrate, your teams can now have a ton more focus, so you can start getting skills into a market much faster. “
Verizon Media has been Microsoft’s SSP of choice since 2015, when the tech giant signed a deal with AOL that Verizon recently acquired for $ 4.4 billion.
Despite its large investments in digital media, Verizon struggled to integrate its ad offering on Oath. As of September 2018, Verizon took a $ 4.6 billion write-off on Oath and valued the business at just $ 200 million. In December of that year, Tim Armstrong, former AOL CEO and head of Oath, left the company.
Now renamed Verizon Media, business appears to have recovered. Kevin Mannion, president and chief strategy officer of Advertiser Perceptions, said Verizon Media had “made up a lot of ground” in the past year and a half, adding that it had made significant strides in integrating its diverse offerings and delivering a clearer value proposition to prospects have achieved.
“I wouldn’t have bet two years ago that Verizon could get to where they are,” Mannion said.
Verizon Media operates the fourth most popular SSP among publishers, according to a report by Advertiser Perceptions last May.
The company’s demand-side platform saw accounts increase 33% year over year in the third quarter of 2020, Verizon’s CFO Matt Ellis said during the company’s latest earnings statement.
Microsoft and Verizon Media are the third and fourth most popular publishers in the United States, according to Comscore. Verizon Media is Microsoft’s preferred SSP for delivery in the US, UK, France, Italy, Canada, Germany, Japan, Brazil, and Spain.