The Verto Glossary: Parent Companies

As part of our monthly Verto Glossary series, we define an industry- or Verto-specific term, in an effort to make our content more useful and easier to understand. In our last post, we discussed exclusive users. This month, we take a look at a key part of Verto’s taxonomy, parent companies.

Verto’s taxonomy is how Verto Analytics groups and classifies the brands and digital properties that we measure. As digital brands continue to consolidate – especially in the media landscape, which has seen the emergence of the Verizon-owned Oath (formed from the AOL/Yahoo merger) and the new AT&T/Time Warner juggernaut in just the past year alone – it can be difficult to map the complex relationships between parent companies and those that they own as sub-brands and subsidiaries.

What is a parent company?

Verto Analytics defines a (brand) parent company as the highest layer in Verto’s brand ownership taxonomy: typically, this is a corporation or legal entity owning digital content: brands, websites, applications, and/or other digital content measured by Verto Analytics. Each of these owned brands, websites, applications, or other digital pieces of content can be separately broken down into lower-level brands. In the case of Verizon’s Oath, Oath is the parent brand, which owns brands like AOL and Yahoo. Meanwhile, AOL and Yahoo own dozens of lower-level brands, such as AOL Mail and the Huffington Post (both brands owned by AOL) and Yahoo Maps and BrightRoll (both brands owned by Yahoo). Another good example is Alphabet, the parent brand created in 2015 to serve as an umbrella to oversee its flagship subbrand Google, as well as other sub-brands it has acquired like YouTube, Waze, Nest Labs, and Zagat.

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