By Sahil Patel
When AOL bought Adap.tv for $405 million in August, the company explained the decision as a strategic move to turn AOL into the “leading video platform in the industry” — in fact, those were AOL CEO Tim Armstrong’s exact words. The thinking was (and is) that combining AOL’s reach in video distribution with Adap.tv’s muscle in advertising would create a platform that could one day top Google/YouTube.
In a sense, that day is today. According to the latest comScore video rankings, AOL is now the #1 video ad platform. comScore, which is now counting AOL and Adap.tv as one unit, reports that AOL served 3.72 billion video ads during the month of September, surpassing Google/YouTube by almost half a billion. The number is also the highest ever recorded by comScore.
In lieu of popping champagne, AOL’s Ran Harnevo and Adap.tv’s Amir Ashkenazi published a blog post this morning to celebrate AOL’s milestone. In it, they wrote: “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.”
Citing comScore numbers, Harnevo and Ashkenazi said that AOL has seen a 32% increase in video views year-over-year — well above the industry average of 17%. In fact, AOL’s slate of originals (which it continues to roll out throughout the year), has collected a combined 23 million views to date (based on internal AOL data).
As for the rest of comScore’s video ad rankings: Google/YouTube slid into second place with 3.24 billion video ads streamed, followed by BrightRoll (2.83 billion), LiveRail (2.56 billion), and TubeMogul (1.66 billion).