Commentary

AOL Squeezing More Tech Into 'ONE' Platform

AOL isn’t done making video the crown jewel of its programmatic ad offerings.

The company this week announced its acquisition of Vidible, a content exchange and video management platform.

“Vidible markets itself as a cross-screen video management and exchange platform for both buyers and sellers. The platform is designed to help content creators scale distribution and advertising, while providing publishers with contextually relevant material with which to fill their video players,” explains MediaPost’s Online Video Daily.

Vidible’s tech will be integrated into “ONE by AOL,” the forthcoming programmatic ad platform made up of all of AOL’s existing ad tech. But will AOL’s latest acquisition push the launch of its highly anticipated platform back?

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When the “ONE” platform was first released, it was noted that portions of it would be available to marketers by the end of 2014. Shortly after, the expected release of ONE slid into 2015.

AOL, however, will likely do anything it can to prevent the platform’s launch from creeping too far into 2015. AOL guided The Street on a Q1 2015 launch of the platform, and given the fact programmatic has been such a huge part of its quarterly earnings reports, it’s fair to assume AOL is highly motivated to hit its launch target.

For what it's worth, AOL has been quick to integrate other tech follow acquisitions recently. After acquiring Convertro, a consumer tracking and attribution tech platform, in May 2014, AOL used that tech to launch its own data management platform (DMP) -- which will sit at the heart of the “ONE” platform -- in September 2014.

Integrating Vidible figures to be less of a challenge than converting Convertro into a centerpiece DMP, but this is certainly something worth keeping an eye on.

And for as much as AOL has squeezed into the "ONE" platform thus far, there are still missing pieces to the puzzle, at least according to some in the industry. Frank Sinton, founder and CEO of video ad tech company Beachfront Media, commented: "Vidible's product doesn't have in-app syndication so [that's] still big piece missing. AOL now has the 'three pillars' -- meaning AOL has checked the content, monetization and syndication boxes -- but the first piece is what I see lacking. They need to better foster creation post-acquisition."

Of course, Vidible or any other ad tech acquisition AOL makes in the near future could be integrated into “ONE” after launch, but if AOL is attempting to beef up the platform as much as possible before launch, it could turn into a race to the finish.

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