AOL: ‘In 2016 we’re going to be about the publisher’


By Ronan Shields, Digital Editor

January 26, 2016 | 3 min read

Verizon Wireless-owned AOL has this week launched a charm offensive on media owners including the purchase of France-based analytics platform AdelpD, claiming it will pose a notable alternative to the walled garden players such as Facebook and Google by not “force-feeding” them their technology.

AOL yesterday (25 January) lifted the lid on ONE by AOL: Publishers, plus the announcement of AdelphD for an undisclosed sum, which the ad tech provider says is the culmination of over $1bn of investment.

It claims the latest guise of its tech stack is “publisher-first” meaning that publishers “takes more of the advertising dollar”, according to Tim Mahlman, president of the AOL publisher platform.

He added: “Publishers face many obstacles and challenges in navigating the complexities of today’s media environment, and the walled garden technology solutions available to them today are underservicing their need to capitalize on the consumer shift to mobile and video.”

He also told The Drum, the combined offering would minimise the “technology tax” often levied on publishers, without “force-feeding them the technology – a key point of differentiation from Google’s DoubleClick.

“Unlike our competitors, we’re also a publisher, and a lot of the publishers we’ve worked with [in beta] tell us that they are often force-fed walled garden technologies by our competitors,” he said.

“Many of them have told us that we’re the perfect alternative [to the alternative offerings on the market. For instance, publishers can be sure that they get their fair share of data [with One by AOL].”

In addition, AOL claims that its recently unveiled offering is tightly connected with its One by AOL buying platform, making the process of selling advertising much more seamless for publishers.

This helps publishers maintain closer relationships with agencies and trading desks, as well as integrated, third-party demand sources, according to Mahlman.

"We're innovating with a lot of products, and it won't be a 'me-too' offering, we've had a lot of validation with our test parnters," added Mahlman.


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