For the first
time, AOL has unseated Google as the top online video ad property in September. All told, AOL served up 3.7 billion video ad impressions -- the largest number by a single property ever recorded by
The findings, scheduled for release by comScore on Thursday, are understood to be the direct result of AOL’s decision to buy Adap.tv earlier this year for $405 million.
(comScore’s September figures mark the first time that AOL and the video ad platform are being counted as one unit.)
“AOL’s purchase of Adap.tv was based on the growth of
video, so on one level this is validation of the acquisition,” Forrester analyst Jim Nail said on Wednesday.
For Amir Ashkenazi, founder and CEO of Adap.tv, the comScore data
represents a number of trends, all of which fall under “the evolution of ad technology.” “For a long time, [the market was made up of] a soup of companies with niche
solutions,” he said on Wednesday. “The market demanded a combined solution for agencies and publishes … and our market position reflects that.”
Ashkenazi predicted similar mergers and acquisitions, but declined to speculate on the potential pairings. Crediting larger trends for Adap.tv’s success, he added: “We are clearly at the
intersection of traditional TV [increasingly making way for] video advertising, and manual advertising [making way for] programmatic advertising.”
Industrywide, video advertising is
on track to reach $4.09 billion this year, which would represent an increase of 41%, according to eMarketer. The research firm expects programmatic ad buying to surpass $3.3 billion -- an increase of
Critics continue to question whether AOL paid too much for Adap.tv, which reportedly had less than $100 million in revenue in 2012. The unit, which officially falls
under the AOL Networks’ umbrella, continues to forge ahead with new offerings. Just last month, programmatic TV buying officially debuted on Adap.tv’s media-buying and selling platforms as
part of AOL’s broader Audience Anywhere initiative.