AOL UK Lifts Lid On Programmatic, Puts 100% Of Reserved Inventory Into DSP

AOL UK on Tuesday announced that it will put 100% of its reserved inventory from all its owned and operated sites into AOL’s demand-side platform (DSP), including UK inventory from AOL, The Huffington Post, Engadget, TechCrunch, Parentdish and MyDaily.

Agencies, trading desk and advertisers that are partners of AOL’s DSP include eBay, Amnet, Cadreon and VivaKi, which “will now have access to AOL’s complete reserved inventory,” per a blog post announcing the plans. The inventory can be purchased programmatically on a self-serve basis.

"Making all of our inventory and premium formats available through our DSP is a major milestone for AOL UK and the industry as a whole,” stated Noel Penzer, managing director of AOL UK. “It reaffirms our investment in and commitment to automation and our belief that programmatic will be the main driver of digital advertising budgets going forward.”

Whether or not AOL UK sells 100% of its reserved inventory via programmatic remains to be seen -- that will be dictated by demand. But this move by AOL UK means they are putting no limit on programmatic's potential. “We believe all of our inventory can be bought in an automated fashion, giving agencies and advertisers more time to spend on bigger creative integrations, sponsorships and tailored solutions," Penzer added.

Danny Hopwood, head of platform EMEA at VivaKi, stated, “It’s refreshing to see a premium publisher like AOL embrace programmatic across all aspects of its business."

AOL is no stranger to programmatic trading and has been a very visible player in the space since acquiring last summer. The company is meshing its continually growing ad tech stack into a single platform -- “One” -- that was expected to launch by year’s end, though a note at the bottom of the AOL UK blog post says the "One" platform is now expected in 2015.

A recent report by the IAB UK projects that 47% of all display advertising spend in the UK to be programmatic in 2014. The same report notes that programmatic could reach 60-75% of total digital display advertising in the UK by 2017.

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