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programmatic upfront posts

Oct 17th 2013

AOL breaks U.S. video industry records, tops comScore rankings in September

In just one month since we completed the acquisition of Adap.tv, we're proud to announce that both parties are already reaping the benefits.

Earlier today, comScore released the U.S. Online Video Rankings for September; AOL not only tops the list of online video ad properties for the month, but also served up 3.7 billion (yes, that's with a "b") video ads -- the largest number by a single property ever recorded by comScore*.

This is the first public data combining both Adap.tv and AOL as one unit, and these results reaffirm the significance of the acquisition and speak to the bright future that lies ahead in video. Specifically, Adap.tv is uniquely positioned to accelerate programmatic ad buying across a bevy of premium publishers and brand advertisers -- and indeed, it already has.

We recently highlighted our leadership position in programmatic at our first-ever Programmatic Upfront, where five of the top six media holding companies committed to programmatic ad packages with AOL in 2014. Adap.tv was also named by IPG's MAGNA GLOBAL unit as its preferred video technology platform, accelerating the agency's client successes across digital, mobile and linear television. The belief is that by eliminating the many points of friction and manual processes within advertising transactions, we can explode creativity and spotlight the incredible work being done in video advertising.

We've also consistently maintained our ranking as one of the top three premium video content properties on the Web by making good on our promise to utilize a syndication model that makes the economics of video production work for publishers and content creators. To that end, we've recently announced partnerships with content brands like ESPN, Discovery and The Wall Street Journal, and we've launched immensely popular series that have raked in a combined 23M** views to date.

We're pleased to see tangible results, and we're inspired by the speed at which we've grown our video offerings to be one of the best in the business. We are currently seeing a 32% increase in video views year-over-year, compared to 17% growth for the overall industry***, with all signs pointing to strong continued success for video at AOL.

From investing in video advertising to syndicating short-form premium content to launching original programs with well-known talent, we have built a complete solution that brings together both content and technology, arming every edge of the ecosystem with what is needed for the next generation of video.

With that said, this milestone could not have been reached without the work of our brilliant employees and our visionary partners and clients who understand the power of sight, sound and motion in today's media and tech economy.

Thank you -- we are excited to be on this journey with you and look forward to continuing this momentum in 2014.

*comScore, September 2013 U.S. Online Video Rankings, Video Ad Properties Ranked by Video Ad Views
**AOL internal analytics, September 2013

***comScore, Video Metrix Media Trend, September 2012 to September 2013, Video Properties

Sep 23rd 2013

AOL is Leading a Movement

Tonight is a milestone moment for the industry. AOL will hold the first-ever Programmatic Upfront for more than 800 digital and traditional marketing executives.

The movement is about simplifying digital advertising at scale – this is our mission at AOL Networks. It's about using technology, data and automation to free up marketers and agencies to do breakthrough creative work. It's about tearing down the inefficiencies that today prevent our industry from competing in earnest for TV budgets. It's about automating what can and should be automated. And it's about defining a new way of buying in the digital space.

For traditionalists, it's easy to claim that 'programmatic' and 'upfront' don't go together; to label 'programmatic' and 'premium' as opposites. This is an empty claim - an attempt to pigeonhole automation as remnant bidding. Many benefit from keeping the industry confused because it fuels feature-based vs. solution-based businesses. But the truth is that programmatic is only synonymous with automation. That it has nothing to do with inventory quality. The fact is that the agencies, brands and publishers that leverage automated programmatic technologies take back huge budget percentages currently lost to 'features'. They lock in better brand results and they create business efficiencies that ultimately drive competitive advantages.

As an industry, we can and should make this easier than we do. As evidenced by the number of marketing executives attending the Programmatic Upfront, buyers want to double down on digital. And they want us to make it much easier and simpler than it is to do so.

With a complete, premium cross-screen and format tech platform that we are investing more and more in each day (i.e. recent acquisition of Adap.tv), AOL is doing its part to draw a line in the sand. We are asking the industry to join us. Tonight, we will demonstrate that the market is ready for change; clients will show that creativity can be the star that rises out of automation.

Check out the AOL Networks programmatic platform video below: For updates and the latest news from AOL, follow @AOLPR on Twitter.

Sep 6th 2013

AOL and Minteye Partner to Create New Video Ad Unit

At AOL, we're big believers in the power of video advertising – just look at our recent acquisition of Adap.tv, our focus on original programming, and the launch of our Programmatic Upfronts. We're also committed to partnering with outside companies who are creating the most cutting-edge technology to help video advertisers stay one step ahead of consumer behavior.

On the heels of our recent partnership with video enrichment platform Carambola, we're proud to announce that we've teamed up with minteye to create a powerful new ad unit based on the technology that powers minteye's Pre-Roll SKIP ad product.

We're even prouder to share that we're the first to adopt their technology.

With the unit, we're able to reduce click-aways and ensure that users stay engaged. By offering users the choice to skip the ad, it gives them control over their ad experience – via minteye's slide-bar technology – creating a game-like interaction.

So, how does it work?
While the user slides the bar to skip the pre-roll, an ad visual that's been broken down into tiles appears over the pre-roll. As the user continues to slide the bar, the tiles become a normal image, which is resized to fit the frame. Once the user has normalized the image, the "skip" button becomes active and the user can proceed directly to the content. This also drives higher awareness for advertisers than if the user had watched the entire pre-roll.

We think it's a win-win for everyone: Consumers get to the content they want faster, and advertisers get guaranteed engagement while supporting a better user experience.

Try the unit out for yourself here.
For updates and the latest news from AOL, follow @AOLPR on Twitter.

Jul 24th 2013

It's Time for Programmatic to Explode Creativity



Coming on the heels of our successful Digital Content NewFront in late April, we announced today that we are holding the first ever Programmatic Upfront event on Sept. 23 -- the first day of Advertising Week 2013 -- for more than 150 clients, media, analysts and investors. The theme of the AOL Networks Programmatic Upfront is "Programmatic Explodes Creativity." We will celebrate the creativity headed our way as technology, data and automation free up marketers and agencies to do wildly imaginative things.

Since the 1970s, TV has been the primary beneficiary of upfront buying. In the last two years, digital has also held upfronts, with a heavy emphasis on video inventory. But as chief marketing officers and other brand stewards come to terms with the reality that proving ad spend ROI is "the new black", there is every reason to believe advertisers will soon be willing to pre-allocate media budgets against large scale display inventory.

The online advertising industry has created a fear and chaos-based environment filled with hundreds of small companies each pitching highly technical necessities to drive digital spend and achieve ROI. At AOL, we believe this must change. CMO's can't embrace digital much further without a simpler connection between people and platforms. They can't shift their budgets from TV until we - as an industry - demonstrate the true power of digital to unlock creativity.

We believe this is the first of what will become an annual industry event -- just like the Digital NewFronts. At AOL, we want to lead this new revolution and help define a new way of buying in the programmatic space.

Recent stats from eMarketer show just how big this business is and will be in the coming years. eMarketer estimates U.S. advertisers will spend more than $3.36 billion on real-time bidding this year, up from just under $2 billion in 2012 and less than $1 billion in 2011. eMarketer expects double-digit increases in spending each year through 2017, when real-time bidding will account for more than $8.49 billion in digital ad spending-or 29% of all digital display spending.*

Check out the event details below.

AOL Networks Programmatic Upfront
Date: September 23, 2013
Location: Skylight West, 500 West 36th Street (@ 10th Avenue)
Time: 5:00-7:00PM ET
Invitation only event

The event will feature marketers and agency executives who will showcase the business rationale that illustrates why upfront programmatic commitments are critical to their business strategy. Speakers will talk about the creative revolution that is made possible by automation.

Brand, agency and industry participants in the AOL Networks Programmatic Upfront will be announced at a later date.

*eMarketer Digital Intelligence Report (April 4, 2013): RTB Ad Spend Continues Robust Growth

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