NEW YORK/CANNES: Mobile video will be a key feature of the global media technology company that has been officially ushered into being with the completion of Verizon's $4.4bn takeover of AOL.
"Our vision is to provide customers with a premium digital experience based on a global multiscreen platform," Marni Walden, Verizon evp & president/product innovation, told analysts and journalists in a conference call where she unveiled a new mobile video service, due to be launched this summer.
Few details were forthcoming beyond the fact it will feature live content around music and sport, emerging content and on-demand content.
In Cannes, AOL chief marketing officer Allie Kline told The Drum that a combined Verizon/AOL business was well-placed to take on the leading content and digital advertising platforms.
She pointed out that AOL had been investing in platforms and automation and in premium original content "and we would like to be the first to bring those things together".
Kline argued that neither Netflix nor Amazon offered much for brands to tap into, while Google didn't have a great deal of premium video content, "so we think we can really shoot the gap in between those two".
She also predicted a shake-out of the industry over the next 18 months. "Either I'm a premium content provider or an ads provider – or both. Anything on the fringe with an arbitrage model of just repping other people's inventory is going to fall by the wayside."
Ad blockers, she suggested, will be a "massive catalyst" in this process and could lead to more publishers adopting subscription-based models. But on the other hand, adblocking could also "turn into an attribution opportunity for tech companies" as it refocused the viewability debate on effectiveness.
"Viewability is the measure of whether someone has seen an ad but that is like table stakes – of course they should see my ad," she said. "What I really want to know is how impactful my ad is and whether it will really drive results."
Data sourced from USA Today, The Drum; additional content by Warc staff