Verizon, AOL Finalize Deal to Launch Ad Supported Mobile Video

Verizon has finalized its purchase of AOL and will now focus on mobile video with plans to offer ad-supported live and original video content later this summer.

In a press conference earlier today, Marni M. Walden, executive vice president and president of product innovation and new business at Verizon, joined AOL chairman Tim Armstrong to preview Verizon’s new mobile video offerings. The pair also outlined plans to support the new mobile-first focus with programmatic ads.

“[Verizon and AOL] have reached real agreement at the executive level,” Armstrong said. “Verizon has been a pioneer in turning the world on to mobile and investing in media. AOL fits squarely into that vision. Our goal is to become the number one global media technology company, and we’re geared to have a platform that is number one with consumers and advertisers.”

Verizon’s video catalogue includes partnerships with the National Football League (NFL) for live football along with AOL original content, which features programs starring actors like James Franco and Jared Leto. According to Walden, the partnership will bring together over 200 hours of exclusive programming. While the content will work with any provider, it is designed to work best across the Verizon network.

“We’re acquiring live content and emerging content and planning on having a number of fresh titles,” Walden said. “[Original video] will work best on Verizon networks. We can give live delivery on Verizon, but videos can also work over Wi-Fi on competitive networks.”

The new video content will be ad supported, integrating ONE by AOL, a cross-screen programmatic platform that uses data to allow brands to see exactly how consumers are responding to video ads. While there are currently no plans for a global rollout, the team hasn’t ruled out the possibility.

“Video product sponsored by data is part of the product offering,” Walden said. “You will see ad supported product come out as well as some premium offers as we evolve the product. There are no plans for global scale, but Tim and his team have global capabilities, so that’s the next step.”

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