Home Ad Exchange News AOL’s Armstrong: We’ll Get Deeper Into The Exchange Space In 2012

AOL’s Armstrong: We’ll Get Deeper Into The Exchange Space In 2012


AOL’s advertising is mostly known for its ad network and targeting tools, but in contrast to rivals Yahoo, Microsoft and Google, it has not been deeply immersed in the ad exchange space. During the company’s Q4 earnings call, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong told investors that AOL plans to roll out several products around audience buying and data this year, while keeping its focus on partnerships with the major ad holding companies.

Armstrong didn’t provide specifics during a follow-up call with the press. “We have a series of products around the ad exchange space coming out this year,” he said. “In fact one is being beta tested right now with a partner. It is designed to help the ad exchanges and players in that space, as well as offer another version of non-reserved inventory for them. We’ll go into more detail this quarter.”

Armstrong also pointed to some other longer-term products that will be released within the next six months and through the latter part of the year. “All I can say right now is that I’ve been reviewing them and they will serve as good augments to what’s currently in the market,” he said.

For the most part, the closest thing AOL has done in terms of working with third parties in the ad exchange and demand-side platform space has been with Publicis Group’s digital hub, VivaKi. That work mostly revolves around video, Armstrong said, though he plans to expand that partnership with that agency unit.

Although normally very acquisitive, AOL hasn’t bought anything in the past few years that would be directly related to the rise of exchanges. Instead it has concentrated on content (Techcrunch and almost a year ago, The Huffington Post) or tools designed to enhance its ability to create premium ad units (Pictela, the developer of AOL’s Project Devil brand display units) or StudioNow and goviral, which are centered around video.

In contrast, last fall, Yahoo  bought data management platform interclick for $270 million, even while it was in the midst of some turmoil around the departure of Carol Bartz as CEO.

Some DSPs have felt shut out by AOL’s choice of limiting their partnerships on data with companies like VivaKi. In essence, Armstrong’s comments suggest AOL will continue to work on its own DSP-like products, such as Advertising.com targeting tool AdLearn and Germany’s AdTech, which also falls on the programmatic buying side.

“We have a very big advantage both in the ad network and exchange spaces because of the machine-learning we have with Advertising.com, and the ad format work we’ve been doing,” Armstrong said during the press call. “You can think of us as the Goldman, Sachs type player on top of the exchanges. We’ve spent a lot of time, energy and technology on figuring out the value of individual things being traded. We have a proprietary set of technologies. That’s why you’re seeing growth in our network business.”

By David Kaplan

Must Read

Advertible Makes Its Case To SSPs For Running Native Channel Extensions

Companies like TripleLift that created the programmatic native category are now in their awkward tween years. Cue Advertible, a “native-as-a-service” programmatic vendor, as put by co-founder and CEO Tom Anderson.

Mozilla acquires Anonym

Mozilla Acquires Anonym, A Privacy Tech Startup Founded By Two Top Former Meta Execs

Two years after leaving Meta to launch their own privacy-focused ad measurement startup in 2022, Graham Mudd and Brad Smallwood have sold their company to Mozilla.

Nope, We Haven’t Hit Peak Retail Media Yet

The move from in-store to digital shopper marketing continues, as United Airlines, Costco, PayPal, Chase and Expedia make new retail media plays. Plus: what the DSP Madhive saw in advertising sales software company Frequence.

Privacy! Commerce! Connected TV! Read all about it. Subscribe to AdExchanger Newsletters
Comic: Ad-ception

The New York Times And Instacart Integrate For Shoppable Recipes

The New York Times and Instacart are partnering for shoppable recipe videos.

Experian Enters The Third-Party Data Onboarding Business

Experian entered the third-party data onboarder market on Tuesday with a new product based on its Tapad acquisition.

Albertsons Takes Its First Steps Into Non-Endemic Advertising, Retail Media’s Next Frontier

Albertsons is taking that first step into non-endemic advertising next week via a partnership with Rokt to serve ads to people who have already purchased groceries.