Investing further in ad services, AOL is expected to debut a centralized platform for campaign optimization, expansion, and real-time bidding capabilities Tuesday.
The AdLearn Open Platform (AOP) -- an extension of Advertising.com’s current AdLearn technology -- is, in part, AOL’s answer to the rise of real-time marketplaces.
“With AOP, we are providing advertisers and agencies access to the power of our platform … as the industry evolves to real-time marketplaces,” said Ned Brody, Chief Revenue Officer at AOL.
Using the new platform, marketers can centrally manage campaigns across what Brody calls the largest market of real-time bidding inventory available, including all major RTB exchanges, as well as bidded access to AOL, Huffington Post and Ad.com’s inventory. It also includes inventory from the recently announced display ad agreement between AOL, Microsoft, and Yahoo.
Marketers will have the option to use the AdLearn Open Platform through self-service or managed service solutions.
According to Doug Boccia, vice president of platform solutions at AOL: “AOP was built on the core strengths of the Advertising.com network.”
Some, however, might see the move as an attempt by AOL to dust off an aging property in Advertising.com. “Ad.com…. who knows with those guys?” Forrester analyst Joanna O’Connell told Online Media Daily. “I’ve heard nothing about Ad.com in ages. To me, they’re much more about proven optimization toward direct response goals.”
That said, Ad.com is largely credited with assisting in AOL’s recent turnaround. Indeed, thanks to third-party network sales -- along with enhanced premium display ad sales related to Project Devil -- AOL has recently been on an ad sales rebound.
Last month, it said fourth-quarter profit hit 42 cents a share, while display advertising rose 15% year-over-year. AOL also grew global advertising revenue by 10% during the most recent quarter, which represented its third consecutive quarter of year-over-year growth.
More broadly, AOL has been investing in every area of its ad business. Late last month, it debuted a technology platform for marketers to customize the design, delivery and management of display advertising. Pictela Enterprise, as the new service is named, gives ad agencies a guided self-service interface to manage their clients’ brand assets and serve them directly into online display ads.
Building on AOL’s Project Devil initiative, Pictela’s product suite of products and services includes a cloud-based platform for the creation, delivery and analysis of premium ads.
Among other AOP founding partners, IPG Mediabrands has signed on to the new service.