Home Mobile AOL Goes Native With New Mobile Ad Formats

AOL Goes Native With New Mobile Ad Formats


huffpostAOL introduced its own native ad unit for the mobile Web and apps on Thursday. The ads include an image and text that is inserted in between content on the publisher’s site or app.

“Before, if advertisers wanted to work with seven different publishers, they’d have to customize their creative and specs with each one, but advertisers can just give us an image and text and we’re off and running,” said Chad Gallagher, director of mobile at AOL Platforms.

AOL has tested its native ad units across several of its mobile properties and apps such as TechCrunch, Huffington Post, DailyFinance, Engadget, AOL Mail and Autoblog. Approximately 50 advertisers, such as Zillow, are already using the native ad units.

The company also tested the ad units with several third-party publishers, including online file-sharing and storage service 4shared, which is already running the native ads on its site, Gallagher said.

The native ad units are only available through direct sales, but AOL plans to make the ad units available through its real-time bidding platform “in the near future.” On the publisher’s side, the native ad units will be added to AOL’s Marketplace and it will live in the AdLearn Open Platform on the demand side.

The ads can be targeted against the customer’s first-party data as well as AOL’s data, including information about the mobile carrier, device operating system, content verticals and user demographics, e.g., women ages 18-49.

AOL is one of many companies that have unveiled native ad formats. AOL’s native ad unit follows Twitter making its native ad format available to all publishers on Tuesday. And Sharethrough this month launched an SDK enabling publishers to run native ads on apps, in addition to the mobile Web and desktop.

But it remains to be seen whether brand advertisers will embrace native ads beyond app installs. A quick review of in-stream ads on Yahoo’s mobile site, for example, showed mainly ads from app developers like Kabam, Supercell and Goodgame Studios.

AOL’s native ads are mostly app install ads as well. While the majority of clients are using its native ad formats to drive app downloads, AOL is also pursuing other campaigns, Gallagher explained. He demurred when asked to explain what those campaigns would look like, except to note that the company will have more to share soon.

“We started with the demand for an app download unit, but the concept of native is much bigger than that,” he said. “We’re already hearing from brands that say they want to engage in more native formats.”

Must Read

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.

Privacy! Commerce! Connected TV! Read all about it. Subscribe to AdExchanger Newsletters

Marketecture Buys AdTechGod (No, Really)

Marketecture has acquired AdTechGod – an anonymous ad tech Twitter poster turned one-man content studio – and the AdTech Forum, an information resource hosted by AdTechGod and Jeremy Bloom.

Why The False Advertising Lawsuit Against Poppi Is Bad News For RMNs

This week’s dispatch explores the new trend of false advertising class-action suits in the food and CPG industry and how the evolution of online, data-driven retail media could exacerbate the problem.

Seedtag Acquires Beachfront For Deeper Roots In TV And Streaming

Contextual ad platform Seedtag acquires Beachfront, a supply-side platform that specializes in TV and video.