AOL steps up programmatic push in UK with eBay as launch partner

eBay is among the first brands to use AOL’s premium programmatic inventory as the publishing network rolls out all reserved inventory to its demand side platform (DSP) in the UK.

The move means advertisers can now buy all reserved inventory programmatically across AOL properties in the UK, which include Huffington Post, TechCrunch, Engadget, MyDaily, and Parentdish.

A range of premium ad formats including its Project Devil / IAB Portrait, will be made available to buy, and AOL has signed eBay, Aegis Dentsu Network’s trading desk Amnet, along with Cadreon and Publicis Groupe-owned VivaKi as launch partners.

The move marks the latest step in AOL’s ongoing strategy to ramp up its programmatic trading offering, having previously outlined plans to unite its programmatic offerings into a single, screen-agnostic platform – AOL One – while cracking down on the amount of “technology tax” in the programmatic supply chain.

Noel Penzer, managing director, AOL UK said the news marks a “major milestone” for the business.

“It re-affirms our investment in and commitment to automation and our belief that programmatic will be the main driver of digital advertising budgets going forward. We believe all of our inventory can be bought in an automated fashion, giving agencies and advertisers more time to spend on bigger creative integrations, sponsorships and tailored solutions.”

VivaKi's head of platform EMEA Danny Hopwood said it is “refreshing” to see a premium publisher like AOL embrace programmatic across all aspects of its business.

“AOL’s commitment and drive is further confirmation of the immense growth and adoption of programmatic, which is now present across every product and every inventory source AOL offers to the industry. Over the past two years, the company has gone from an ad network proposition to a fully formed technology platform.

"This has helped transform the relationship between VivaKi and AOL from that of traditional agency and publisher, to one of true collaboration and a shared consensus on how we can work together in a programmatically traded industry,” he said.

Earlier this year Penzer told The Drum that programmatic trading was being put at the forefront of the AOL business in the UK, but must not come at the price of limiting creativity.

AOL has seen major revenue uplifts in programmatic trading, bolstered by its $405m acquisition of Adap.tv.

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