When Verizon and Yahoo finally announced Monday morning they had made a deal, many of the secrets advertisers had been waiting to learn escaped like a tightly wound jack-in-the-box being released for the very first time. For example, the company, the original Yahoo, with the leftover assets will change its name at the close of the sale to Verizon.
For Verizon, the done deal — signed, sealed and delivered — means AOL will create "a new rival in mobile media that reaches over 1 billion people with a powerful global roster of beloved brands."
Verizon acquires the Yahoo trademark, along with a variety of technology pieces. AOL plans to use ONE by AOL to target ads to consumers on sites like Yahoo Sports, and optimization content around live events. Millennial Media and Flurry will support mobile and data. Gemini will drive native advertising on the Huffington Post, and Yahoo Finance.
AOL Looks For Scale
The deal focuses on mobile and scaling AOL's advertising services to support brands. Perhaps that is why, it appears, AOL will keep the trademark for Yahoo Search, Yahoo Mail and other similar assets that duplicate AOL's services. Will we see a new tagline "Powered by AOL," the once barely defunct brand given new life by Verizon?
Here's a little trivia. Some 43 million people use Yahoo sites -- some more than four times a day, on average, according to Yahoo. The company also tells us on its Web site that Yahoo visitors spend $3.3 billion online a month, 12% more than average online users.
comScore Friday released its monthly digital rankings for June 2016, naming the top 50 digital media properties and publishing explicit core search share for desktop. Yahoo sites for the month had 206 million unique visitors, trailing slightly behind Google at 242 million, and 209 million on Facebook.
For search volume on desktop, Yahoo sites declined in June 2016 by 0.2 points from 12.1% in May 2016 to 11.9% in June 2016, while AOL remained steady with 1% share for May and June. Microsoft sites remained unchanged for the two months at 21.8% market share.
Yahoo generated the majority of its revenue from search and display last year, according to its 2015 annual report. For the twelve months ended Dec. 31, 2015, some 84% of its total revenue came from search and display advertising. More than 600 million of its monthly users across its network of sites, including Tumblr, visit Yahoo on mobile devices.
Not Included In The Sale
Yahoo's sale of core assets to Verizon did not include cash, shares in Alibaba Group Holdings and in Yahoo Japan, Yahoo's convertible notes, certain minority investments, and Yahoo's non-core patents, which Yahoo calls Excalibur.
So what happens to the leftovers -- the pieces Verizon didn't want? The assets will continue to be held by Yahoo, which will change its name at close of the sale and become a registered, publicly traded investment firm, according to the company.
The new name, of course, is yet to be announced. Any guesses?