The Big Story: Hanging Up On Ad Tech, Tuning Into CTV

The Big Story podcast

Remember when telcos kept dropping billions on media and ad tech assets because they just couldn’t wait to activate their first-party data for advertising purposes?

Didn’t pan out.

This week on The Big Story, the team dives into the “why” in the wake of private equity firm Apollo Global Management’s $5 billion acquisition of Verizon Media from Verizon. The name of the new company might ring a bell – they’re going to call it Yahoo.

So, why didn’t the dream work?

“It was all about the potential,” says Sarah Sluis, AdExchanger’s newly minted managing editor. “That’s what everyone always talked about, the potential versus some of the reality.”

Then again, Verizon does deserve recognition and some credit for the hugeness and audacity of the integrations with which they had to deal. Together, AOL and Yahoo made 190 acquisitions (!!) through the years. But who's counting.

The fact is, there isn’t only one reason Verizon, and several other telcos, didn’t end up having the intestinal fortitude to capitalize on their pricey investments.

Beyond the frankenstack aspect, there were potential privacy and regulatory risks. And, as executive editor Zach Rodgers points out, the telcos-buying-ad-tech frenzy was at least in part spurred on by “investment bankers who really wanted to create the atmosphere of urgency around a vision for the future which may or may not match to what the future can accommodate.”

Also in this episode: Sarah goes deep on ad tech companies making their play to control advertising on CTV … and explains why it’s not 100% smooth sailing. Associate editor Tony Rifilato swings by to share observations about the NewFronts, where streaming dominated the conversation. And senior editor Allison Schiff reveals her very nerdy AOL Instant Messenger away message from college.

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