By Sahil Patel
AOL held its “Programmatic Upfront” tonight, hoping to entice marketers to make upfront commitments for AOL Networks inventory across video, display, text, and other “premium formats.”
Upfront clients will be able to buy AOL inventory on a programmatic basis via the AdLearn Open Platform, which the company is transitioning from a demand-side platform to one that can help manage ad-buying across screens and formats. New features of the AOP include real-time bidding on private marketplaces and access to “highly impactful and viewable placements” across all inventory types. This includes inventory on AOL home-pages, The Huffington Post, TechCrunch, and StyleList (though this is predominantly display and interactive display/video units).
During a flashy presentation that often veered toward inspirational thought-speak about how data can improve life decisions, AOL also took some time to highlight its Be On branded video content offering as well as its recent acquisition of video ad platform Adap.tv. While on stage, Adap.tv president Toby Gabriner echoed a theme of the event, which was that programmatic upfront-buying would eliminate manual processes that often get in the way of solving “real” problems for advertisers.
Additionally, AOL’s SVP of global advertising products and strategy, Seth Demsey, said that over the coming months and years, AOL will integrate the newly acquired Adap.tv technology into the AOP platform.
In terms of big announcements, AOL said it has already secured 2014 upfront commitments from Accuen, Amnet, Havas Media, Horizon Media, and Magna Global. Other agencies like Digitas, Razorfish, and VivaKI are said to be “considering” making investments.