Oath marked its Digital Content NewFront debut with a host of announcements including a mobile advertising tie-up with Samsung, plus a host of new programming, which it's pitching to marketers along with the unified adtech assets of AOL and Yahoo.
The Verizon-owned online behemoth, which aims to rival the dominance of Facebook and Google when it comes to online media budgets, chose its 2018 NewFront bonanza to announce a global distribution deal with the handset manufacturer that will see it serve ads and content to Samsung Galaxy owners.
Oath’s newsroom app, plus Yahoo Finance, Sports, and Go will be pre-installed on the flagship Samsung smartphone series with advertisers now able to reach said audiences via native ad units specifically designed for mobile viewership through its Yahoo Gemini offering.
A statement announcing the tie-up attributed to John DeVine, chief revenue officer at Oath, plus Dave Bottoms, vice president, product management at Oath, claimed it represents its ambition to hone in on the lucrative advertising market across its NFL, NBA coverage plus the Yahoo Finance portal, as well as the Samsung Galaxy App Store.
“Following the launch of the Galaxy S9 and S9+, Oath becomes Samsung's premiere content partner on Bixby Home in the US, with plans to expand across global markets later this year,” reads the statement.
“The content and ad experience was custom designed with Samsung to create the best consumer experience that drives deeper mobile engagement. With a single swipe, Samsung customers can stay connected to the most important customized content from Oath’s powerful house of brands.”
Brand safe premium content
In conjunction with the Samsung tie-up, Oath also employed the star power of Hollywood personality Jamie Foxx See (image below) to unveil a slate of 10 new original video series, documentaries and live programs to run on its household name content brands.
Speaking with The Drum, DeVine, explained that part of its NewFront pitch to brands advertisers was simplifying their route to audiences on mobile devices in a brand safe environment – already a commonly occurring theme at this year’s week-long proceedings.
DeVine further went on to highlight its content marketing services – demonstrated by Oath’s recently RYOT Studio partnership with the LeBron James Family Foundation to produce a documentary called I Promise – as an example of its play to win over premium marketing budgets.
“The second thing we're really trying to simplify is our ad formats to a select golden few ad formats that work for users,” he added. “We know consumers want fewer ads, but they really want fewer bad ads and we’ve launched a few examples like Mobile Moments that is resident within our apps.”
How Oath is consolidating its adtech brands
Detailing Oath efforts to simplify its adtech offering into a single offering – Yahoo’s BrightRoll and AOL’s One offerings had various levels of overlap – said it had been on both its buy- and sell-side offerings, adding it was roughly “two-thirds of the way in”.
“On that, we're simply consolidating platforms, just working relentlessly through our roadmap to bring the number of DSP as we have now to a single UI for advertising on the display side,” he added.
“We’re, we are looking to have a lot of that integration closed, uh, as we go into the prime of this year in Q3, Q4.”
Newly unified privacy terms
DeVine also spoke of how part of this consolidation also entails Oath harmonizing the data privacy policies of its previously disparate adtech offerings, an especially important consideration as online platforms come under public scrutiny, not least in the EU’s General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) loom.
Oath's brand safety pitch
Meanwhile, Jeff Lucas, the newly installed head of sales for North America at Oath, underlined his brief to assure advertisers of the outfit’s brand safe offering with a host of content curated by professionals.
“I think you have this great intersection between great content and the ability to do great commerce using data in a very brand safe environment. I think that a message that the ad community needs to know more of,” he said.
Speaking to the relatively unique posting that Oath now occupies in the market (given its backing by US telco Verizon Wireless) Lucas went on to voice his belief that it was an asset that “no one else can offer” given its mix of content, consumer insights and ready-made advertising tools.
He added: “I think what other companies are striving for as a way to figure out content. I think it has already figured out content and how to merge the two together.”