If you’re a Verizon Wireless customer looking to purchase a Galaxy S9 or Galaxy S9+ in the near future, we’ve got some bad news for you. America’s largest wireless carrier has just signed deal with Samsung that will see Verizon’s Oath subsidiary install bloatware across devices that are Bixby-enabled.
We don’t know of many (or rather, any) people that enjoy having their mobile devices preloaded with unnecessary apps, but Verizon sees this as another way to drive revenue from customers that are increasingly turning away from traditional ways to view content. In this case, Samsung devices bought through Verizon Wireless will come preloaded with Yahoo Sports, Oath Newsroom, Yahoo Finance and Go90. If you recall, Go90 is a video streaming service that is aimed primarily at millennials.
This bloatware will come packed with “native ads”, which Reuters says will display advertisements that will be disguised as regular content within the aforementioned Oath apps. “This gets ads one step closer to being direct to consumer,” said Oath CEO Tim Armstrong in a statement. “You can’t be more direct than being on the mobile phone home screen and app environment.”
Dave Bottoms (VP for Product Management) and John DeVine (Chief Revenue Officer) put a rosy spin on the new bloatware, adding, “The content and ad experience was custom designed with Samsung to create the best consumer experience that drives deeper mobile engagement. With a single swipe, Samsung customers can stay connected to the most important customized content from Oath’s powerful house of brands.”
Over the past few years, Verizon acquired AOL and Yahoo for $4.4 billion and $4.5 billion respectively, combining the well-known brands into the subsidiary now known as Oath. It was only a matter of time before Verizon would start leveraging Oath to bolster revenue for advertising, and this new deal with Samsung is proof of those efforts.
We should mention that this deal only pertains to Samsung devices that are purchased through Verizon Wireless. All other Samsung smartphones, including those that are bought unlocked directly from Samsung, are exempt from this bloatware madness. It is not known at the time, however, if a future firmware update will populate already-sold [Verizon Wireless] Samsung Galaxy devices with the new Oath apps.