Verizon is starting to pick winners and losers from AOL and Yahoo's collection of ad-tech companies

Tim Armstrong

Noam Galai/Getty Images for TechCrunch

  • Verizon's Oath is starting to pick some ad tech winners and losers from its acquisitions of AOL and Yahoo.
  • As a result, Oath is shuttering its 'programmatic TV' group.
  • The company is working toward rolling out a new advertising tech platform that blends the best parts of AOL and Yahoo's various tools and products.

Verizon is starting to trim the ad tech fat.

The company's digital media unit, Oath, is planning to shut down its One TV division, which was the company's attempt to build the software infrastructure for TV advertising as it eventually becomes more digital.

In addition, Oath is phasing out Convertro - an ad tech company it acquired for over $100 million in 2014 - as a stand-alone brand and business. The Convertro name is essentially going away, but many of that division's offerings - including tools designed to help brands figure out the impact of multiple ads in a given campaign - will be retained.

The moves are part of Oath's sorting out of winners, losers following the merger of Verizon's two huge acquisitions over the past few years: AOL and Yahoo. As a result of these moves, the company is planning a handful of layoffs.

Both companies joined Verizon with a sprawling number of products and offerings, particularly in the ad-tech arena. Many were the result of previous acquisitions by AOL and Yahoo.

In fact, the two web companies housed dozens of ad tech pieces between them, reported Digiday in 2017.

Oath is essentially doing ad tech bake-offs

As Verizon has worked on integrating the various pieces under the Oath banner, the company has indicated that it plans to keep the best of both companies, and eliminate parts that are redundant or no longer fit its current strategy.

For example, among its multiple web video ad platforms, the Yahoo property BrightRoll appears to be gaining favor while AOL's's role is being diminished, said AOL's partners.

In fact, Oath is eventually planning to release a single, start of the art advertising platform that will feature the best pieces of all the AOL/Yahoo assets, said a spokesperson.

"From day one, we have made a commitment to build a unified and differentiated global advertising platform to maximize the brand power of the world's best companies," said an AOL spokeswoman. "In doing so, we're taking our best assets and creating a powerful integrated, open, and transparent ad tech stack."

Prior to Verizon, AOL once harbored huge ambitions in TV and the cloud

A few short years ago, before it was acquired by Verizon, AOL announced big a pair of ambitious initiatives. For one, it planned to build the tech that would eventually underpin the $70 billion TV ad business as it inevitably embraces automation.

To bolster that initiative, AOL acquired a data-centric TV ad startup called PrecisionDemand in 2014.

Plus, AOL made a bold entry into the 'marketing cloud' industry - one dominated by giants such as Oracle, Salesforce, and Adobe - with its ONE platform, which aspired to provide big marketers with one-stop-shopping when it came to managing and storing all of their data and analytics.

That vision appeared to be tempered, as Oath CEO Tim Armstrong looks to focus the company on mobile media and advertising. The new "ONE" is referred to as a "mobile monetization platform."

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