Verizon has signed a deal with Samsung to preload four apps from Verizon’s Oath brand onto Galaxy S9 smartphones as part of the company’s ongoing effort to get people to actually watch content (and, more importantly, ads) from services like Go90, via Reuters.
Specifically, Oath’s Newsroom, Yahoo Sports, Yahoo Finance, and Go90 mobile video apps will be preloaded on Samsung’s Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus phones sold through Verizon going forward. The Verge has confirmed with Samsung that the preloaded apps will only be coming to Verizon phones, not other carriers or unlocked devices, but it’s still something that looks especially frustrating given the rise of phones like Google’s Pixel line, which go out of their way to eradicate carrier bloatware on Android.
Also part of the deal is the integration of native ads from Oath into both the Oath apps and Samsung’s own Galaxy and Game Launcher apps. The two companies aren’t exactly being subtle about the motivations behind the added bloatware. Oath CEO Tim Armstrong commented to Reuters that the new deal gets “ads one step closer to being direct to consumer[s]” by putting Oath’s apps directly on users’ devices. Samsung will share revenue with Oath from the new ads.
Additionally, it seems that Oath’s apps will become Samsung’s “premiere content partner” for the Bixby Home feed, adding things like sports scores (from Yahoo Sports), news (from Newsroom), and stock information (from Yahoo Finance) into Bixby Home, too. Oh, and more ads.
These integrated ads and Bixby Home content will be coming to all Samsung S9 devices, not just Verizon ones, starting with the US with an eventual plan to roll them out globally. That means that even if you aren’t a Verizon customer and you use an S9, prepare to start seeing a lot more Verizon and Oath content in your future.