The Big Story: Snap Judgements And A Broken Oath

The Big Story podcast

The Big Story is a breezy new podcast featuring a roundtable of AdExchanger editors talking about the biggest stories from the past week. It is available wherever you subscribe to podcasts.

Exeunt Snap Chief Strategy Officer Imran Khan and Oath CEO Tim Armstrong.

Neither of these departures are big surprises. Khan was spearheading the business interests of an embattled company whose revenue was starting to pick up as its user growth lagged.

And in the industry’s worst-kept secret, Armstrong was chafing at Verizon, which seemed reluctant to offer the resources needed to build a media business that could compete with Facebook and Google.

As a result, it’s departure week on “The Big Story.”

The AdExchanger team examines the original promises that once boosted Snap and Oath, back when enthusiasm reached stratospheric heights and ad buyers fantasized that either or both could become viable alternatives to Facebook and Google.

Perhaps those comparisons were unfair.

But fair or not, those early dreams have not materialized, and both companies have been dragged down by some heavy realities.

In the case of Snap, its value proposition isn’t entirely clear. Despite defining itself as a camera company, it’s fundamentally a messaging service. But can that effectively be monetized, especially when Snapchat messages are so ephemeral?

And with Oath, it’s not clear if advertising is a priority for Verizon. Oath can still be successful without the Verizon data and scale – but it just won’t be the industry linchpin it could have been.

“The Big Story” was recorded before Verizon announced K. Guru Gowrappan as Armstrong’s successor.

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