Verizon mulls AOL partnership for OTT video monetisation

DetailsMichelle Clancy | 09 January 2015

Verizon Communications is considering working with AOL to help monetise its upcoming mobile video service.

According to Bloomberg, the wireless carrier hasn't made a formal proposal to AOL. But at international CES this week, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam said the company is exploring partnerships with media companies and content providers. "AOL, along with lots of other media companies, are potentials for us to do partnerships," he said.

Verizon's buy earlier this year of Intel's OnCue digital video assets will support the launch of a mobile over-the-top (OTT) service sometime this year, which will combine the telco's FiOS IPTV and broadband offering with its mobile assets.

"I think over-the-top video is right around the corner," McAdam said at the recent Goldman Sachs investor conference in 2014. "We've got the assets in place, and I don't feel we need an awful lot more ... We are very focused on probably late first half of 2015 having products like these in the marketplace."

Now, Verizon is reportedly interested in AOL's programmatic advertising technology, which allows targeted, automated ad buying. That's a piece that Verizon does not have in-house.

"Verizon needs a digital response and AOL has shown the best strategic foresight of navigating the digital-video world," said Laura Martin, a senior analyst at Needham & Co told Bloomberg. "Verizon can buy or build that, but it's unlikely to build it fast enough."