​Jeff Kagan: Verizon Bet’s Their Future on Oath

Jeff Kagan  |

Well, it’s done. Verizon (VZ) now owns Yahoo and AOL. Now it’s up to Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam to make something of the raw materials he now has at his discretion. To try and integrate them all and grow the company. So, what can we expect going forward? Let’s take a closer look. It all starts with the new name, Oath.

McAdam braced us a couple years ago. I saw him on CNBC where he discussed how we should not expect to see growth from Verizon for a while. And while I applauded his honesty, that still left investors, customers and workers worried.

Since then Verizon acquired AOL and now Yahoo. Now they have introduced the name Oath, working it into the mix. So, what will Verizon, or Oath look like going forward. They haven’t done a good job of explaining what Oath is or what the company will look like going forward.

Comcast (CMCSA) did it with Xfinity. Charter (CHTR) with Spectrum. Now Verizon will with Oath? Maybe. It looks like many exiting leaders in yesterday’s world are reinventing themselves, their name and their corporate recognition in the marketplace.

Verizon is a wireless company and a telephone company. They have IPTV television called FiOS, but that has not seen growth in a while. So, now that the iPhone and Android growth wave is subsiding, where will growth come from? That’s the million-dollar question for Verizon.

AT&T DirecTV NOW Reinventing Industry with Wireless TV

AT&T (T) has been transforming themselves. They are successful adding DirecTV NOW and creating wireless TV or mobile TV. So, this is an area I think Verizon will try and duplicate later this year. Will that be successful? Who knows. We’ll just have to wait and see.

AT&T success with DirecTV is also sending Comcast and Charter back into wireless with Xfinfty Mobile which recently launched. Charter Spectrum wireless should launch next year. Why so long? Good question.

Verizon needs to find their next growth wave. They need to be on track as solidly as AT&T seems to be. They see television playing a role. However, this is not the focus of the company.

Verizon’s focus looks like it will be following companies like Google (GOOGL), Facebook (FB) and Amazon.com (AMZN). That’s right. This has nothing to do with their wireless or telecom network. However, it will work with their wireless network to see growth. Let me explain.

What’s the Next Growth Wave for Verizon?

As far as I can see,their acquisition of Yahoo has little to do with building and growing Yahoo. The same as their acquisition of AOL has little to do with building and growing AOL. Verizon acquired AOL and Yahoo simply a way to get their hands-on millions of users. They see that as a great way to launch Oath.

I see the goal of Oath growing into a company that is attractive to users. More than AOL. More than Yahoo. I’m trying to wrap my mind around what Verizon will look like going forward. To understand where they are going. Understanding where Verizon growth will come from is so important.

Oath sounds like a new world for Verizon. A place where they can both sell things and have and advertising platform. Similar to what Amazon.com and Google Ad Words are doing. They want to sell advertising to their universe of customers. They want to sell things to their universe of customers.

Verizon Oath Following Amazon.com and Google Ad Words

Am I sure? No. But this is what I see in the cards for Verizon going forward. They have taken a path that is unclear to countless people who follow the changing industry, company, products and industry.

So, let’s keep our eyes on Verizon and Oath going forward. I want them to be successful. I want them to win, their investors to win, their customers and their workers to all win. However, I am not clear on their path and I don’t know anyone else who is either. I have spoken to countless executives at Verizon and at competitors over the last year or two and there are clear question marks in the air. Questions that only Verizon can answer.

Jeff Kagan is an Equities.com columnist. Kagan is a Wireless Analyst, Telecom Analyst, Industry Analyst, speaker and consultant. He follows wireless, wire line, telecom, Internet, cable TV, IPTV, Cloud, Mobile Pay, FinTech and communications technology. Email him at jeff@jeffKAGAN.com. His web site is www.jeffKAGAN.com. Follow him on Twitter @jeffkagan

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Symbol Name Price Change % Volume
FB Facebook Inc. 164.91 -0.50 -0.30 27,622,806 Trade
GOOGL Alphabet Inc. 1,193.89 14.33 1.21 1,657,809 Trade
AMZN Amazon.com Inc. 1,974.55 40.19 2.08 4,538,407 Trade
CHTR Charter Communications Inc. 323.37 -3.67 -1.12 1,613,740 Trade
VZ Verizon Communications Inc. 53.05 -0.49 -0.92 13,604,924 Trade
T AT&T Inc. 33.76 -0.15 -0.44 30,681,499 Trade
CMCSA Comcast Corporation Class A Common Stock 35.40 -0.23 -0.65 25,533,469 Trade


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