Amir Ashkenazi: We have always been of the mindset of hiring
the best possible people to work with our publisher and advertiser customers. It's not so much the "type of person" that we look for, but someone who shares the passion and drive that our team has for
our industry. As Tim Armstrong alluded to and what is indicative of the news [yesterday], we have achieved that. Even more telling is Adap.tv operating independently within AOL, further evidence of
Tim and his team's confidence in our extremely talented employees.
Yesterday's big news in the
advertising world - and especially in the programmatic advertising world - was AOL's $405 million acquisition
of online video ad platform Adap.tv. Rumors
had been swirling around about a potential IPO for Adap.tv before new rumors about a potential AOL buyout (which ended up being true) surfaced.
RTM Daily had the chance to ask Adap.tv's CEO
Amir Ashkenazi a couple of questions about the deal, including why Adap.tv went the acquisition route rather than the public route, what will change at the company as a result of the deal, and what it
means for the ad tech industry at large.
I read that AOL's CEO Tim Armstrong said that he purchased Adap.tv because of its people. What is it about Adap.tv's people that
makes them special? Does Adap.tv hire with "type of person" in mind as much as talent?
Ashkenazi: We decided
to join AOL first and foremost because of the vision of the industry that we share. They have invested and continue to do so very heavily in the huge potential that the $240 billion TV industry moving
to linear TV presents. To that end, this partnership empowers our publishers and advertisers with an even better platform.
RTM Daily: The purchase price puts Adap.tv's value higher than Tremor Video's, which went public
about a month ago. Why go the acquisition route rather than the public route? Why even change anything at all?
Advertisers will have one place to go to handle all of their
premium video activities – for both reserved and non-reserved inventory. They also have one place to go for all of their display, mobile, and video needs. And of course working with one company
will allow for easier management, efficiencies, more transparency, etc. For publishers, this provides them a complete solution – everything from the player to monetization and private
RTM Daily: What changes at Adap.tv? The focus is still programmatic video, but there has to be some new paths and goals in mind. What are
Adap.tv will operate independently as part of AOL’s video organization and be included as part of the overall solution offered by
AOL Networks to its publishers and advertiser partners. As such, joining AOL allows us to use additional resources to accelerate our momentum. Down the road we will look at all that we have and
determine what is important to integrate, without disrupting the businesses.
RTM Daily: This acquisition doesn't just impact Adap.tv and AOL. It shows that "strategic"
buyers truly are interested in ad tech companies, even bigger ones. In as humble of an opinion as possible, what does the Adap.tv/AOL news mean for the industry at large?
It validates two very important inevitable trends happening in the video space right now that Adap.tv and AOL are positioning for –
the movement from linear television to online video and the shift from manual transactions to programmatic media buying. By acquiring Adap.tv, AOL has now rounded out their suite of
technology solutions for both publishers and advertisers.
RTM Daily: Thank you for your time. Any other thoughts or comments?
Obviously, we are very excited about joining the AOL family and providing publishers and advertisers everything they need to succeed in the rapidly changing video