LOS ANGELES – Its own ad-tech stack was already gargantuan, now Verizon Media is widening the set of tools it offers to third parties.

In an announcement, the company launched new features for publishers via its media platform:

  • Verizon Media Smartplay Prebid: Helps offer more inventory, for faster auction and for better prices, using prebid open-source software.
  • Ad Data and Ad Analytics: Helping publishers segment data and understand ad performance, plus identify tech issues.
  • Verizon Media Control: For curating content and simulating and syndicating live channels to multiple platforms.
  • Channel Scheduling: For creating virtual live linear streams using VOD library videos.
  • Output Syndication: For publishing video streams to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Twitch and, in future, to OTT digital MVPDs.
  • 4K HDR: Video ingest, encoding, and CDN capabilities now supports the higher resolution.
  • Live event dashboard: For event broadcasters to stop, start, trigger and breaks, create clips and tag events of interest.
  • Real-time streaming: In beta, enabling sub-second latency for live events – important for sectors like gambling.

Interactive future

In this video interview with Beet.TV, Verizon Media chief business officer Iván Markman says consumers are demanding a new type of content experience.

“One of the areas that we’re seeing is the need and the focus on more interactivity,” he says.

Verizon recently acquired BlueJeans, the video conference software provider. Whilst that may look more like an arms race with Zoom and Skype for remote workforce hearts and minds, Markman also frames the idea of video-based interaction in a media context.

“Audiences are a lot more open to these kinds of experiences, and they are adopting it, and making it part of their habits,” he continues. “As much as we’ve seen this massive acceleration, we’ve only begun. Because there’s so much innovation to come into the future.”

Supply and demand

Verizon Media is the product of several marriages.

Its publishing assets include the likes of Yahoo, Techcrunch, AOL, HuffPost, from what was briefly known as Oath.

Its advertising technologies roll up those historically acquired or operated by AOL and Yahoo, like BrightRoll, Flurry, One and Gemini.

Markman acknowledges: “We are both the demand-side platform, as well as the supply side.”

The group’s Media Platform has long operated a content delivery network and tools for encoding, syndication and advanced advertising.

Video growth

But all of those assets now interconnect with a Verizon stable that includes telecoms and TV activities.

And the new Verizon Media has been doubling-down on video streaming.

“There’s significantly more consumption of connected TV type content,” Markman says.

After launching live “bell-to-bell” Wall Street video coverage in January 2019, Markman says “we’ve seen almost a doubling of those audiences” year-on-year. The group also streamed the Super Bowl in 4K.

Markman says Verizon Media “is a streaming platform that powers the who’s who of broadcasting, the likes of ESPN and folks”.

He says he is trying to offer a service with three core tenets:

  1. Being omni-channel and having connected channels.
  2. Diverse insights and transparency … around how consumers behave.
  3. Brand safety.