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AOL Reels in Behavior Targeting Network Tacoda

Time Warner's AOL, conspicuous by its lack of participation in the recent ad network feeding frenzy among the Internet's giants, has acquired New York-based Tacoda. The move follows Google's $3.1 billion purchase of DoubleClick, Microsoft's acquisition of aQuantive for $6 billion, Yahoo's purchase of the rest of Right Media for $680 million, and WPP Group's addition of 24/7 Real Media for $649 million. Tacoda, which operates a network selling behavior-based audience segments, will reportedly go to AOL for between $200 million and $300 million.

This could be a very significant move for the behavioral targeting industry as privacy concerns have long kept big portals like AOL from partnering with behavioral targeting providers. However, given the recent spate of data-marrying ad buys -- notably Google and DoubleClick -- the addition of anonymous user data from such a large publisher to a behavior-based network may no longer be controversial. Indeed, the addition of AOL will not only add richness to each user segment, the portal's massive reach could even lead BT beyond the "remnant inventory" status pegged to it for so long.

It's this kind of consolidation that backs up eMarketer's prediction that BT will grow from $350 million this year to $3.8 billion by 2011. Expect an acquisition of Tacoda rival 24/7 Real Media to follow.



Read the whole story at New York Post »

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