LAS VEGAS — What do you get if you add together Engadget, TechCrunch, Huffington Post, AOL, Yahoo, Flurry, Verizon and a host of other media properties? A media megalith that, at first, was dubbed “Oath” and, since January, is just plain “Verizon Media Group”.

As a media proposition, what does a beast with such breadth add up to? Scale, says Verizon Media Head of North American Sales & Global Client Solutions Jeff Lucas

“We’re intending to bring content, data, and innovation with scale to the marketplace,” he says in this video interview with Beet.TV. “When we aggregate all of our audience, we rank number two behind Google in terms of total audience.”

At CES, where Lucas was speaking, Verizon and Microsoft announced an expansion of an existing ad partnership, extending Verizon’s handling of Microsoft’s display, video and content marketing to also include native ads.

Powering native ads on the Microsoft properties extends the latter’s ad inventory by 20%, the pair said.

And, of course, Verizon Media Group will need to make good ad money. Having spent almost $10 billion to acquire AOL and Yahoo, Verizon in its 2018 Q4 wrote $4.6 billion off the value of its Oath assets after Oath ad sales under-performed.

Closer ties to Verizon could help, Lucas says. “When we came together with Verizon, we also came together with Verizon Wireless,” he adds.

“We have 100 million users there which we combine with our base, and that made us even bigger; it also allows us to have more access to data.”
Verizon’s Oath buy-up represents just one of a series of tech-and-media mega-mergers that have played out in the US over the last year, alongside AT&T’s ongoing gobble of a series of media entities.
The clear possibility is that telcos will be able to use their data on their own telecommunications customers to better target ads using the content offerings they now own.
But Lucas takes pains to say Verizon is “very careful with data”: “It’s very important to us to keep that protected and not share with other people, meaning third parties.”

This video is part of Beet.TV coverage of CES 2019.   The series is sponsored by NBCUniversal.  For more coverage, please visit this page