Verizon Communications will feed data to its new advertising business collected from an opt-in rewards program that allows wireless subscribers to earn credits for concert tickets, movie premieres and phone upgrades. The move was not unexpected.
Verizon will feed the data to its recently created ad business unit Oath, which was formed after completing the acquisition of Yahoo. The unit also includes assets from AOL.
For every $300 that customers spend on their Verizon bills, subscribers will receive one Up credit, which they can use for things like Uber rides, four free months of Apple Music or chances to win concert tickets, per one report.
Consumers must give Verizon access to their web-browsing data, app use and location data. The data collected is shared with Oath. Verizon's business added 600,000 subscribers last quarter and its wireless business generated about $89 billion in revenue in 2016.
The move is intended to help Verizon build a digital advertising business to compete with Google, Facebook and Microsoft.
Overall, Verizon's ad business brings in about $7 billion annually, according to The Wall Street Journal. Verizon owns about 4% of the U.S. digital advertising market this year, compared with Google at 41% and Facebook at 20%, per WSJ, citing eMarketer data.
Data security will likely come into play for some Verizon subscribers, especially the 6 million who had their personal data leaked online. In July, cybersecurity firm UpGuard discovered that human error released online Verizon customer phone numbers, names, and some PIN codes online.