Trust is our unique selling proposition, says Verizon Media's Rose Tsou

Topics Verizon

Rose Tsou
Where does India fit in in Verizon's global plans?

India really is one of the most important international markets (among our top five). A very important priority, of course, is to grow the number of users, especially when it comes to international (markets). This is because of the fact that out of a billion plus who form our user base globally, only 50 per cent come from international markets. So we see a huge opportunity to continue to grow our international presence, especially in mobile and India is very big part of it.

The first thing in that direction is to really go deep with our core user base. The most known brand in the India market is Yahoo, where we continue to invest in the core products. Recently, we launched Yahoo Mail 6.0. We will help create shareable content (within email). The second is to empower businesses using our technology and not to try to be another Amazon by ourselves. We will partner with retailers. The third is to close the ecosystem with subscription and transactions.

How will shareable content within email work?

Shareable content can come in the form of video, or text, where you will be able to actually shop and directly see merchandise while you browse or see content. We will also create articles that create a recommendation which can direct you to a link to shopping. In addition, we're also going to create experiences, such as, if you're just reading an article that talks about gym, fitness, and so on, we can bring out a related product or merchandiser. Or you can look for similar look and feel of a celebrity dress or shoes but want something under $50. We can show you appropriate links to online stores you can buy similar stuff from. 

Where will this be rolled out first?

In the US, we have already started piloting a few of the shoppable videos, and we're encouraged by the result, and we find that the click rate of these merchandisers can easily go up to three times.

How do you compete with the existing email players in the market, most notably Gmail and Microsoft with Outlook? 

Yahoo Mail is number two when it comes to the number of users. And we have our own unique strengths, including our storage. We have one terabyte of storage where Google is much smaller. It is not just functionality but also continuous evolution, how do we enhance the user interface, make it far more customisable, personalised. We really innovate not just by taking mail as a pure utility but treating it more like a platform. So our mail app will be increasingly more than just the inbox and composing a text message. You will see other things such as deals, travels and all the other related subject matter. 

Everyone is looking at videos these days. What are you doing that sets you apart from others, more so in India?

We really focus on trusted information. Instead of just user-generated content, which is great and gives you a lot of diversity but can be unreliable, our brand promise is trust and innovation. Trust to us is very, very important. So our video strategy is that we don't go with user generated content, we go with premier sources and trusted sources. Secondly, we also don't go with scripted long-form content, we go with endemic content that really enhances the content experience. In the US, we create bell to bell content, talk to the user about investment tips, what is going on in the stock market today and so on. We also have NFL (National Football League) rights so we work with NFL to create content as well.

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