AOL Launches Self-Serve Capabilities For Mobile-First Publishers

AOL on Tuesday launched new self-serve capabilities for its programmatic mobile supply-side platform, ONE by AOL: Mobile, which debuted in 2016. The new self-serve offering is designed to meet the needs of mobile-first app developers and publishers by increasing mobile ad inventory and increasing transparency and control.

This is an expansion of AOL's managed service for app developers, which it will keep as well. “But we’re hearing that developers want to control their own destiny and be hands-on and manage the business themselves," explained Pat McCormack, VP, publisher sales. AOL. "So we’ve developed the platform to become fully self-service to offer app developers more control and access.”

AOL said the benefits of its mobile self-serve platform include:

--Self-Serve & Self-Registration: ONE by AOL: Mobile’s self-serve capabilities enable publishers and developers to immediately sign up and integrate into the system.

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--Demand Strength: Built for developers launching their first app, as well as more seasoned app developers, ONE by AOL: Mobile provides self-serve, instant access to hundreds of advertisers. The feature means that in addition to the demand AOL makes available through its programmatic ad exchange (programmatic bidders, and managed demand that exists only within AOL), there are hundreds of millions of dollars in AOL that can be directed to publishers that use the platform, explained McCormack.

--Transparency & Control over demand and monetization. Publishers can view all demand partners filling their inventory, with detail on specific buyers and brands.

--Consumer Experience:, AOL offers a rigorous set of brand-safety controls, as well as flexible and adaptable ad formats that allow developers and app developers to customize their ad experience. Using a feature on the platform, developers can block certain types of ads to protect audiences.

--Simplicity: AOL’s self-serve mobile programmatic platform aims to make revenue management easier with one open solution to access hundreds of premium demand sources. McCormack said that generating revenue as an app developer can be complicated because of the number of partners involved. “App developers can use dozens of SDKs, ad networks, and demand sources; we want to make it easier to manage the process.”

McCormack added: “We hear from consumers that they’re spending more time on mobile. 80% of their time is spent within mobile apps, [which is] a business opportunity for app developers and advertisers.”

But when there are too many mobile monetization partners, it’s challenging for app developers. “The majority of app developers on our platform will want to be self-service,” he said. Glu Mobile and others are currently using the self-service model, which has been in development for six months. AOL has some 65,000 app developers.

“There is a resounding need from the app developer marketplace to have complete control and the ability to build their brands,” said McCormack. “They’re fighting for recognition for their brands as developers.”

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