aol20armstrong20one500
Internet

AOL sharpens advertising ambitions with its One platform

AOL is pushing to become an elite advertising business with a new platform for buying and selling ads tied to big data.

On Wednesday the company announced "One," a system designed to help automate the process of buying and selling ads, and give marketers better data about the effectiveness of their campaigns across channels such as display, social and video.

The platform springs from new technology built by AOL, as well as a series of acquisitions the company has made over the years, including Adap.TV, for video ads, and Gravity, for personalizing ads.

AOL already provides a platform for programmatic ad buying, the industry's term for automated trading systems that allow companies to place ads across the Internet as well as traditional media.

But AOL hopes that One will take things further. "Today is a tipping point in the industry," said AOL CEO Tim Armstrong, in announcing the system at an advertising trade show in San Francisco. Currently, the advertising business makes more money with more hands on deck, he said, but One is designed to provide better value by automating more of the process.

The system will provide more tools for marketers to gather and track data about customer engagement signals, and unify that information from different sources such as display and TV ads.

Previously, those data sets existed in different places and were harder for marketers and agencies to make sense of, said AOL's Bob Lord, who heads the company's ad technology arm, following the announcement.

AOL's release of One shows a major power play by the company to seize a booming trend around automated advertising, a US$50 billion market in the U.S. alone, AOL's Lord said.

One could help AOL compete against online advertising companies such as Google, as well as marketing software players such as Adobe Systems and Salesforce.

"Google is the closest," Lord said, describing how close that company's automated ad-buying platform is to AOL's One.

One also marks a different type of venture for AOL, separate from providing original content, a bit of a sore spot for the company given its struggles with the news site Patch.

AOL's first beta partner for One is Magna Global, the media agency of IPG Mediabrands. Magna Global hopes to automate 50 percent of its ad buying by 2016.

Over the next six months, AOL plans to bring other big brand advertisers on board with One.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

PREVIOUS ARTICLE

« Bitwig Studio on Linux: Can one top-tier app change the game?

NEXT ARTICLE

Windows Phones to get better gaming, battery with DirectX 12 »
author_image
IDG News Service

The IDG News Service is the world's leading daily source of global IT news, commentary and editorial resources. The News Service distributes content to IDG's more than 300 IT publications in more than 60 countries.

  • Mail

Recommended for You

International Women's Day: We've come a long way, but there's still an awfully long way to go

Charlotte Trueman takes a diverse look at today’s tech landscape.

Trump's trade war and the FANG bubble: Good news for Latin America?

Lewis Page gets down to business across global tech

20 Red-Hot, Pre-IPO companies to watch in 2019 B2B tech - Part 1

Martin Veitch's inside track on today’s tech trends

Poll

Do you think your smartphone is making you a workaholic?