The recent acquisition of AOL by Verizon for $4.4 billion may be the end of the AOL brand, but it means the future of Verizon’s growing ad-technology. Over the last several years, AOL has been investing heavily into developing their own ad technology to compete with the likes of Facebook, Google and Twitter. AOL’s investment in video ad tech, coupled with the acquisition by Verizon, could be very beneficial to the marketplace and to marketers.
Facebook and Google undoubtedly have the advantage in the ad tech market, but AOL and Verizon might be moving up in the ranks. At the moment, AOL places fifth in the US digital display ad market. One of the factors that contributes the success of Facebook and Google in the ad market is their data. The amount of personal, location, demographic and behavioral data that the companies have collected give marketers an accurate and effective platform for audience targeting. The Verizon and AOL team up will surely shake things up.
AOL and Verizon Have Mountains of Data
Both companies compliment each other very well when it comes to customer data, especially mobile location and behavioral data. As a wireless service provider, Verizon knows where user’s phones are now and where they have been in the past. Verizon has been using this data to work with advertisers to enhance the effect of sponsored messages in the real world. With the acquisition, Verizon gets an ad-tech platform from AOL and AOL can use Verizon’s data to enable better cross-channel ad campaigns for marketers.
The acquisition means that Verizon will likely use AOL to strengthen its position in the ad-tech market by offering accurate ad targeting across channels, in real-time, especially mobile where the majority of users have flocked. Facebook and Google will remain the front runners as Twitter increases its market share at the expense of Yahoo.
The big question: How will Verizon and AOL turn their data into usable insights that will improve customer experience without crossing the privacy line?