Apr 1st 2014

Full Steam Ahead for AOL Platforms

What an amazing few weeks it's been. We just unveiled our vision for our global programmatic advertising platform, ONE by AOL, at ad:tech San Francisco and we rebranded AOL Networks to AOL Platforms to better represent our global offerings and strategy.

Our vision is to build the most sophisticated, efficient and open technology platforms for global brands, agencies and content owners - with innovative capabilities supporting cross-screen programmatic planning and buying, unified data optimization and the delivery of premium experiences to consumers whether on desktops, mobile devices, video or linear TV. With these priorities in mind, it is important that we have talented and accountable leaders at the helm of our top investments.

Leadership Appointments

Ad.com serves as a core and important pillar for AOL Platforms. Our massive cross-screen business continues to thrive, contributing significantly to AOL Platforms' $785M of 2013 revenue. As we look towards the future, we see a tremendous opportunity to extend Ad.com's powerful scale and performance to premium experiences across the network, AOP and MARKETPLACE, Pictela and ADTECH. I believe that dynamic creative optimization and real-time, data-driven ad experiences are the future of display, and there is no business better poised to lead this movement at scale than Ad.com. Don Kennedy has been instrumental in the success and meteoric growth of this business for well over ten years and I'm pleased to announce his appointment today as president of Ad.com.

I am also happy to announce that Toby Gabriner will lead ONE, as well as assuming leadership responsibility for Adap.tv. Toby brings more than 14 years of ad tech experience to his new role at ONE, where he will focus on building a fully integrated enterprise solution for brands, agencies and publishers and growing the revenues generated by this key pillar of our business. In addition to working with Adap.tv, he's driven success at a number of other companies, including Carat Interactive, [X+1] and Tribal Fusion. I'm looking forward to working closely with Toby as our vision for ONE continues to take shape and we go to market in full force.

Adap.tv co-founder and CEO, Amir Ashkenazi, has been named president of AOL Platforms. Amir will play a critical role in Platforms' strategy as well as work with Seth Demsey, Teg Grenager and Toby Gabriner on our ONE platform and Ran Harnevo on the AOL On video strategy. Amir has long-proven to be a visionary leader and entrepreneur, and I am excited to have him impact more of our business with his expanded role.

Gravity Joins AOL Platforms

Last but certainly not least, today we also welcome another best-of-breed platform in Gravity to AOL Platforms. AOL acquired the cross-screen content personalization and Interest Graph company in January of this year, and it will be an important part of how we service our publisher and brand clients moving forward. Both publishers and brands use the platform today to understand consumer interests, similarities and intent.

I believe our strategy and structure is in place to lead the market in automation, video and premium experiences. Our powerful technology platforms are global, data-driven, modular and fully cross-screen (TV included). We are committed to meeting our advertiser, agency and publisher client needs today, and helping them in the future as the market evolves in near-real time.

Mar 28th 2014

AOL Partners with AdWeek Europe 2014

AdWeek Europe kicks off in London today – and we're excited to announce that AOL is one of the key partners. In its second year, AdWeek Europe is a hybrid of inspiring thought leadership featuring the world's best and brightest, with engaging special events that galvanize targeted constituencies.

AdWeek draws from the client, media and broader cultural communities with a focus on key business drivers that shape and influence the global industry.

Over the course of the conference, AOL will host and participate in a number of panel discussions and keynotes around the most important topics in the advertising and media business right now.

AOL's panel sessions include:

Monday 31st March
@ 9:00 AM (GMT) – WIRED Content 3.0 - AOL UK MD, Noel Penzer features on an industry panel tackling brands, convergence, content, distribution and always-on consumer

@ 10:30 Shifting Premium Pounds Online – AOL's Head of International, Graham Moysey leads a discussion on video and our new premium video platform, AOL On

@ 16:30 Attacking Chaos: Automate to Simplify – CEO of Adap.tv, Amir Ashkenazi keynotes on marrying the power of digital with the simplified economics of TV

Tuesday 1st April
@ 9:00 WIRED 24/7 – HuffPost UK Editor-in-Chief, Carla Buzasi features on a panel to discuss redefining leadership in the ever-changing global landscape.

Wednesday 2nd April
@ 9:45 Agency Trading Desks Look at Programmatic – Moderated by AOL UK MD, Noel Penzer, AOL invites chats to the major trading desks about the role and future of programmatic advertising

Thursday 3rd April
@9:00 London Native Ad Forum – AOL UK's Head of Planning, Insight & Research, Steve Payne will host a block of session on Native advertising with industry leaders

Can't make it to any of the discussions, but curious as to what AOL has to say? No worries – you can catch the live stream here.

Mar 26th 2014

ONE by AOL: A Fully Integrated Enterprise Solution for Brands, Agencies and Publishers

There's no question that the advertising industry has gone through enormous change in recent years, fueled by an array of technological and cultural shifts – from innovations in how media is bought and sold to the rise of the smart phone, tablets, online video and social networking. It's an exciting moment: As people consume and share content in more varied ways than ever, marketers have multiple new opportunities to understand, reach and engage with their audiences.

At the same time, however, chaos in the ad-tech landscape has reached an all-time high, creating incredible complexities for brands, agencies and publishers attempting to sort through the sprawl of available choices.

ONE by AOL is about to change that.
ONE by AOL

Today, we're excited to unveil our plans to build a new, global programmatic advertising platform for brands, agencies and publishers. ONE, which is in early development, will unite the talent, experience and technological innovation behind Adap.tv, AdLearn Open Platform and MARKETPLACE. It will provide a single, unified, enterprise-level platform for driving powerful brand insight and marketing executions across all screens, formats and inventory types. It will fulfill our vision for advertising's future: an open ecosystem where partners and competitors, publishers and marketers, are all beneficiaries of a more seamless and efficiency-focused technology landscape.

As part of today's announcement made at ad:tech San Francisco, IPG Mediabrands announced its plans to be the charter agency network partner for ONE --reinforcing its commitment to fully automating half of its media investments by 2016. AOL shares the vision with IPG Mediabrands around harnessing the power of data and technology to make smarter, faster decisions that drive client business results.

The holy grail of marketing is helping marketers understand how direct response and brand budgets can interact together. ONE ensures that data powers media selection and allocation, pricing and creative. It is the integrator of media across every screen and the automator of decisions that have long not needed human attention. The goal of a platform like ONE – that is open and that doesn't discriminate – is to enable advertisers, agencies and publishers to unlock much greater value from technology innovation and realize efficiencies simply not possible before.

What do we mean by an open, global ecosystem? It means that marketers who have made a commitment to an external partner for a piece of the ad tech stack can integrate and plug that solution into our platform. This gives advertisers and publishers incredible flexibility with elements like data and attribution, enabling them to see and manage all of their investments on a single platform in real-time.

You may also have noticed a change in our name. As AOL continues its push into the global marketing technology business, the segment formerly known as AOL Networks will now be known as AOL Platforms, reflecting the full power of the reach and deep capabilities behind ONE.

Mar 25th 2014

MAKERS Celebrates Gloria Steinem's 80th Birthday

There's no simple way to celebrate an icon like Gloria Steinem.

For many of us, Gloria is the leader who embodies feminism, who pushed the women's movement into the mainstream, who voices so articulately what we feel in our hearts but can't yet communicate in words, and whose dedication to equality is something we should all at least attempt to model.

So for Gloria's 80th, one of the ways we're honoring the icon is by celebrating her accomplished life, from "What You Know" to "What You Didn't Know."

Click on the infographic to enlarge it.

Mar 25th 2014

Arianna Reveals Keys To True Success At Hearst Master Class

In a business world driven by deadlines, money, burnout and stress, it may be time for a workplace revolution.

Arianna Huffington, president and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post, said we need to move beyond defining success by the power and money we gain from careers. Arianna, discussing the inspiration for her new book Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder at a Hearst magazines Q&A session called Master Class on Monday, said the true measure of accomplishment should tap into ourselves, our stress and our strengths.

"The world is changing, we're not in the age where we can mindlessly do our jobs. ... There's no longer the king at top shouting orders," Arianna told host Robbie Myers, editor-in-chief of Elle magazine, in front of an intimate audience at Hearst Tower in Manhattan. "Leadership is much more than a leader in the center of the circle. It's much more about what are really female values: Teamwork, collaboration, flexibility, bringing people together."

Another component of a fulfilling life and career is to let your head hit the pillow, Arianna said. After a health scare in 2007 led her to realize the importance of sleep, she told the audience she wants to spread the word that getting the proper amount of shut-eye is crucial to success -- especially when it comes to workplace performance.

"Sleep is the miracle drug without any side effects -- absolutely everything gets better with sleep," she said. "Imagine how many more glass ceilings we can break through if we're fully awake."

In order to grab the rest we need, we must put ourselves before our devices, Arianna said. If we prioritize checking emails or if we take phones into the bedroom, we can't expect to reap the full benefits of a good night's sleep, she said.

"Look at how careful we are about recharging our smartphones as opposed to our brains," Arianna said. "We need to stop thinking that the last email is more important than we are."

Arianna stressed that success shouldn't depend on accomplishments at work. The most important thing is the legacy we will leave in other aspects of our lives.

"Our eulogies [will] have nothing to do with our resumes -- have you ever heard a eulogy that said 'George was amazing, he increased our market share by one-third?'" she said. "It's all about the other stuff -- how we made people feel, did we make them laugh, what did we mean to our children and our loved ones. We [need] to start running our lives in a way that gives a eulogizer something to work with."

For more on the Third Metric, click here.

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