With the coming departure of Verizon’s internet point man, Tim Armstrong, and the stated focus of Verizon’s new CEO Hans Vestberg on building out the company’s 5G network, it looks as though the wireless giant is reining in its online ambitions a bit. Former CEO Lowell McAdam had made providing content to customers’ phones a major priority for Verizon, but the strategy pursued by Armstrong led to the purchase of AOL and Yahoo, two elder statesmen of the Internet. With the two companies only generating 5% of internet ad revenue, they couldn’t compete with bigger rivals like Google and Facebook. That’s perhaps why, Sarah Krouse writes in The Wall Street Journal, Vestberg is looking to build out the company’s promising 5G network. She writes:
Mr. McAdam’s successor, former Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg, has said he is focused primarily on building out a faster 5G network, rather than content.
Two forays into streaming video in recent years have failed to make Verizon a go-to content provider. Earlier this year Verizon shut down a mobile video app called go90 and sold its stake in AwesomenessTV, which produces short shows.
Mr. Armstrong has pressed in recent months for Verizon to better use its retail stores to promote Oath’s services such as the ability to watch NFL football games on Yahoo Sports, the people said. The unit is working to get more Oath apps preloaded in new smartphones, which could boost usage.
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