Verizon Wishes To Rival Tech Giants
Verizon wishes to reign over advertisement with the help of AOL.
It is quite clear since the time Verizon Communications Inc. acquired AOL in 2015 that the primary goal behind this acquisition was to merge the two company’s technology and data so that they could come up with a big advertisement business.
The wireless network carrier already made it quite clear that it would share the data it had gathered on the browsing pattern of users so that it could improve the ad targeting business of AOL.
At this point, the Wall Street Journal reported that a small group of the test customers at AOL can get access to Verizon data pertaining to the location of cellphone users to gauge if the user went to a store after they viewed an ad. The Chief Executive Officer at AOL, Mr. Tim Armstrong has been marketing the company to clients on the idea they can gain leverage particularly online over competitors if they advertise with AOL for all clients by the end of 2016.
The company is neglecting the fact that sharing data of this nature might cost Verizon trouble. The company has already been fined $1.35 million by the FCC for making use of supercookies. So when the company made settlements with the agency, VZ vouched that they will gain permission from customers before they track or share their data with other companies. This was not just applicable on other companies but also on its other ventures like AOL.
The FCC has also come up with certain new rules which clearly specify the amount of data which can be shared amongst the ISP with external parties without getting the permission from customers.
As per the report by the Wall Street Journal, Mr. Armstrong came up with a pitch for the advertisement clients that depend vastly on the location of data. Mr. Armstrong stated, “Imagine, if a hotel chain supplied Verizon with a database of its frequent guests. That could be matched up with data on Verizon’s more than 100 million wireless customers, plus AOL’s own data, to target guests with ads for promotional offers. Later, the hotel’s sales data and the telecom giant’s customer data could be cross-referenced to see how many of those people subsequently visited the hotel."
Both the companies seem to be pushing their capacities when it comes to acceptable advertising since they are striving hard to keep pace with evolution of the mobile marketing domain. Google Inc. and Facebook Inc. are two industry giants which have 50% of the mobile ad market share and are growing on a rampant pace. Verizon and AOL are quite small in comparison to Google and Facebook at this point of time; however it can grow if Yahoo Inc. gets on board.
Hence, Verizon is again creating an awkward situation for itself. The company is under strict surveillance by the FCC and any wrong move can cause them trouble. The idea of merging AOL and Verizon to promote advertisement business is great however it needs to it carefully take its next move to make a staunch mark.