Digital Gabe
Cutting Edge Commentary On All Things Media

Is Oath Pivoting From Ad Sales To Subscriptions?

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To say 2018 has been a year of flux at Oath is an understatement.  In September Oath CEO Tim Armstrong resigned amid reports of a conflict over the strategic vision between him and Verizon’s exec leadership.  Then just last month Oath was rebranded as Verizon Media Group, with a new mission of facilitating media transactions within its emerging DSP, instead of just selling ads.  Now rumors are circulating that Oath is considering taking its best content behind a paywall, which would change their monetization strategy away from ad sales once and for all.

The project even has a sort-of-secret code name . . . “Project Purple”, which is probably a reference to Oath’s Yahoo legacy.  If the subscription strategy wins out brands like Yahoo Finance, Yahoo Sports, Huffington Post, etc., would be available behind a paywall.  Of course a subscription would be ad free, taking Oath further away from its original charter of being a preeminent ad sales and data platform.

Considering that Verizon paid $9B for AOL and Yahoo (which created Oath), I’m sure the pressure is on to squeeze ever last nickel out of their business model.  More to come, I’m sure.

 

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