Oath is attempting to deliver on its promise of becoming an alternative to the duopoly. But a question remains as to how compelling its proposition will be to buyers without the full complement of Verizon data at its disposal.
On Monday, the Verizon-owned company unveiled the long-awaited fruits of a year’s worth of hard labor: a unified ad tech stack under a new brand name, Oath Ad Platforms, that combines assets from BrightRoll, ONE by AOL and Yahoo Gemini.
The result is a consolidated stack that comprises a unified DSP and a search/native marketplace, along with programmatic access to Oath inventory through its SSP and around 40 exchanges.
The platform also includes a few new bells and whistles, such as connected TV inventory via the DSP and new ad formats, like one shoppable unit that lets ecommerce marketers promote flash sales.
“Oath Ad Platforms is the culmination of years of experience, powerful assets and deep work over the last year, bringing together product, data and talent,” Jeff Lucas, Oath’s head of Americas sales and global teams, told AdExchanger.
Product, data and talent – if only it were that simple.
Late last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that Oath’s CEO, Tim Armstrong – chief shepherd of the vision to help Verizon become a dominant force in digital advertising and media – is preparing for his departure from the company.
According to slides from a sales deck shared with AdExchanger, Oath pulls a smorgasbord of deterministic data from Yahoo, Flurry, AOL and Verizon and combines it with probabilistic modeling to create audience segments for targeting.
Oath claims to have access to addressable person-level data for around 400 million records pulled from a blend of Yahoo and AOL login data and Verizon CRM data. It’s also got device-level data mapped to more than 2 billion devices, derived primarily through Flurry’s SDK footprint.
First-party consumption data comes from content holdings including Yahoo News, Yahoo Finance and Yahoo Sports as well as HuffPost, TechCrunch, Engadget and Tumblr; from mail and search data courtesy of Yahoo and Microsoft’s media portfolio across Skype, Xbox, Outlook and MSN; and from SDK data via Flurry and ONE by AOL: Mobile.
Oath also has location data for around 270 million users, based on a combo of AOL geofencing, GPS data from first-party SDKs and Verizon verification.
It’s nothing to sniff at, but is it enough to propel Oath into the duopoly’s league?
“That’s where it’s wait-and-see right now,” a media agency executive told AdExchanger. “They’re really pushing it as a sales team, which is understandable, but whether it will fulfill its potential still remains to be seen.”