Big Data just got much bigger at AOL.
At its second annual “Programmatic Upfront” event in New York on Monday, AOL announced the launch of a data management platform (DMP) with multi-touch attribution. The DMP will be part of AOL’s “ONE” platform, the multichannel programmatic ad platform the company plans to launch in 2015.
AOL had previously used third-party DMPs for its data needs but built its new DMP in-house using technology from Convertro, the consumer tracking platform and attribution tech firm that AOL acquired in May.
Speaking at the Programmatic Upfront event, Seth Demsey, chief technology officer of AOL Platform -- the division in which the ONE platform is housed -- said the new DMP allows advertisers to track audiences across all screens.
“You can look at each audience on a per-channel basis,” said Demsey. “We can see how Audience A is doing on TV, display, digital video; [we can see] where we can reallocate spend to make things better.“ He added: “We can go even further to look at the creative level.”
Bob Lord, CEO of AOL Platforms, said the programmatic ad industry is moving much faster than anticipated -- a thought shared earlier by Tim Armstrong, chairman and CEO of AOL.
“You need to think of your media planning strategy very different,” said Lord. “No longer can it be top down; it has to be bottom up, and it needs to be optimized while the media plan is in flight. We need to embrace multi-touch attribution.”
AOL is not the only company advocating for -- and investing in -- multi-touch attribution. An Accordant Media report from May noted that multi-touch attribution is significantly better at attributing credit to the appropriate sources, and a recent VivaKi whitepaper shed light on the pitfalls of last-touch attribution.
Lord also urged ad buyers to lean in on programmatic buying of linear television, something he said the ONE platform will support. In a similar vein, AOL Platform has also announced that it has expanded its partnership with Affiperf, the trading desk of Havas, to include television buying.
“We have a conviction: What can be automated, will be automated,” stated Dominique Delport, global managing director of Havas Media Group and chairman of Havas Media Group France and Havas Media Group UK. To gear up for its support of programmatic linear TV ad-buying, AOL has also announced the launch of TV ad targeting and analytics technology.
The new DMP will first be made available to AOL’s existing programmatic customers, per a release.
An in-house DMP was one of the few things missing from AOL’s upcoming multichannel ad platform, and the addition of a DMP -- along with the addition of linear TV targeting tech -- makes AOL a more formidable player in the programmatic ad space.
In a report this morning, Brian Wieser, senior analyst at Pivotal Research, wrote that they view AOL as “an increasingly formidable competitor” to Google and AppNexus, citing the upcoming "ONE" programmatic ad platform as the reason why. However, Wieser also noted that AOL "must overcome concerns from some publishers regarding the competitive nature of an ad platform owned by a publisher."
I think that this is a really smart thing for AOL to do; it will start to give them a competitive advantage in an ever-changing market. At one time AOL used to be on top, but because of Google and Yahoo taking large leaps forward, AOL has taken a backseat and has basically stayed the same for the last five to seven years or so. This platform is going to allow them to take a closer look at consumer and see how and where they are spending allowing them to change this as consumers change. The whole idea behind this is to truly understand the consumer. The goal with advertising on the internet now days is changing so fast and if a company like AOL cannot keep up with the changing markets and appeal to consumers then they might as well just give all of their consumer to Google and Yahoo. AOL is also launching a TV ad targeting and analytics technology, which will help attract potential business partners for AOL. This will make AOL a more three dimensional player in the ad world allowing them to compete against platforms such as AppNexus. Overall AOL is doing a smart thing, they are changing things up in order to stay current in an ever-changing market. AOL realized the need for the data management platform (DMP) with multi-touch attribution in order to stay current, it will allow them to have a chance at what so many other company are willing to risk everything for.