You know what my $800 smartphone is missing? Sponsored content and ads that are accessible with a hardware button. No one has ever actually said that and meant it, but that's what Samsung owners could be getting very soon. Verizon's Oath, which includes Yahoo and AOL properties, has announced a deal with Samsung to integrate its content and "native ads" into Bixby Home and pre-load more bloatware apps. As if you didn't already have enough reason to disable Bixby.
Oath is now the premier partner for Samsung Bixby in the US, and it will expand to other markets later this year. That means you'll see Oath in Bixby Home on the Galaxy S8/S8 Plus, Note 9, and Galaxy S9/S9 Plus. The content will include services like Yahoo Sports, Newsroom, Yahoo Finance and Verizon's Go90. Those services will also exist as an app preloaded on phones.
Showing news in Bixby seems fine on the surface, but it's all basically sponsored content. The Google Feed shows news, but it's not just from a single content partner. Adding new bloatware is always lame, though. This feels like an advertising deal in disguise—Verizon is paying to increase engagement with its properties. The cloying blog post seems unaware of how people will react. Oath specifically mentions there will be "native ads" in Galaxy Apps and the Game Launcher. I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume no Samsung users actually want any of this.