Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Verizon Is Becoming A --BLANK-- Company

OK, fill in the blank. With the purchase of AOL last year and now Yahoo, Verizon is becoming a new kind of company.  It started as two baby bells, a spin off from Ma Bell and the merger of New York and New England markets which once was known as NYNEX.  Its name change to Verizon indicated that they were to be more than just a wired telephone company.  Yet they were criticized for a brand name that had no identity attached to it.  That didn't stop them.  They successfully pushed into wireless to become a towering force in mobile communication.  And they added cable with the formation of FIOS which would overbuild a number of cable markets in large DMAs like New York and Philadelphia.

But it is this push into digital content, first with AOL and now with Yahoo, that causes us to understand how Verizon is once again remodeling itself.  Once acquired, AOL and Yahoo businesses will likely merge to find important synergies.  Perhaps working more closely with their new video streaming service, go90, to drive further internet advertising dollars.  Add to that the data and research gleaned from the mobile wireless market and the app and website world and Verizon may have an inside understanding of what its users want and desire.

Verizon is working on its transformation from telecommunication giant to media mogul.  But the acquisition of Yahoo may not be enough to compete with the likes of Facebook and Google.  Facebook is winning because it is the platform that we proactively visit multiple times a day that aggregates content for us to consume.  And Google is the search engine of choice that takes us to places we desire to go and guides us on the better choices to make.

Verizon likely needs to add more to its mix of sites; an acquisition of Bing or even all of Microsoft might be something to consider.  A Yelp or TripAdvisor or other site that helps guide our decision making.  But more is needed for Verizon to further its transformation.  Yahoo alone is not enough.  But it looks like a good start.