9-23-13 5:00 PM EDT | Email Article

Today, in a historic moment for digital advertising, AOL Networks hosts the industry’s first-ever Programmatic Upfront, which features major agencies and brands making upfront financial commitments for 2014. This milestone event focuses on how technology and automation are disrupting digital advertising. Pioneers including Nate Silver, editor-in-chief of ESPN’s FiveThirtyEight blog, and Dr. David Plans, co-founder of BioBeats, will share their perspectives and experiences that demonstrate how technology and automation can unlock creativity.

Tim Armstrong, Chairman and CEO of AOL (Photo: Business Wire)

Tim Armstrong, Chairman and CEO of AOL (Photo: Business Wire)

AOL Networks also announces that upfront clients will be able to purchase reserved AOL inventory on a programmatic basis via AdLearn Open Platform (AOP), which includes a host of new features designed to make the automation and optimization of online marketing campaigns simpler, more efficient and more effective.

Accuen, Amnet, Havas Media, Horizon Media and Magna Global are among the agencies that have made strategic investments for 2014 to AOL Networks’ programmatic stack. DigitasLBi, Razorfish and VivaKi, which are participating in the event, are also considering making investments.

“The digital advertising industry has created an environment filled with hundreds of small companies each pitching highly technical 'necessities' to drive results, which has led to confusion,” said Tim Armstrong, Chairman and CEO, AOL. “Advertisers and their agencies want to cut the waste and take control of their digital marketing allocation. The goal for everyone in the industry should be to simplify the landscape so more focus can be spent on reaching consumers via premium experiences.”

“The power of our tech platform lies in its ability to simplify programmatic buying while driving brand performance at massive scale,” said Bob Lord, CEO, AOL Networks. “An upfront model amplifies the value of programmatic technology by further reducing administration, redundancies and waste. By committing to programmatic packages upfront, advertisers can save an enormous amount of time and money while improving results, all of which can be channeled to the creation of highly innovative and engaging campaign strategies and creative.”

“Stronger data utilization has allowed us to create a more robust digital media map of our consumer,” says Frank Wong, Director, Digital Media, Hyatt Hotels and Resorts. “Together with our agencies, we are building a strong competitive edge with programmatic technology and automation. It gives us the tools we need to act on what we know about our consumers and prospects and ultimately drive greater brand and direct response results.”

“Accuen is always looking to partner with innovative companies in the industry,” says Accuen CEO Josh Jacobs. “AOL’s commitment to programmatic is an example of the forward-thinking mindset we look for to help our clients be more successful. AOL’s tools and technology have already helped us deliver for clients, and the addition of more premium inventory to AOP means we have even more opportunities to deliver breakthrough results for our clients.”

Amnet is part of the communications planning infrastructure at Aegis Media and strives to deliver better performing media through better audience targeting. AOL Networks’ technology enhancements in programmatic buying empower us to deliver strategic, measureable and sustainable business outcomes for brand and direct-response clients,” says Ashwini Karandikar, President, Amnet Global.

“Our clients are no longer asking about a simplified ecosystem - they are demanding it as they should,” says Donnie Williams, Chief Digital Officer, Horizon Media. “We may think that the chaos doesn’t reach them, but it does and it’s one of the biggest barriers to greater investment. We are proud to lead this movement with AOL Networks. It’s exactly where we want to be as an agency."

"Havas Media Group is committed to a programmatic future through its Affiperf network,” says Adam Kasper, Chief Media Officer, Havas Media. “Our company's integrated and flexible structure gives us the agility to leverage innovative and data driven solutions at scale. We are able to maximize the returns for our clients and better engage their consumers. We are thrilled to participate in this program with AOL. By creating the first platform based buying solution to offer market-leading inventory, they are helping us to push our industry forward. This is the start of a new era which will open the doors to programmatic marketing for advertisers, agencies and publishers."

Advertisers Have Unprecedented Access to Reserved AOL Inventory Thru AOP Starting Jan. 1, 2014

AOL Networks also announces it will allow upfront clients to lock in reserved AOL inventory to be scheduled and targeted programmatically as part of their upfront commitment. For example, the inventory on AOL homepages, The Huffington Post, TechCrunch and StyleList, will be on AOP, giving advertisers the opportunity to buy in an automated fashion what they previously bought manually. This move makes AOL one of the industry’s first major publishers to make its reserved inventory available through programmatic channels.

Advanced AOP Enhancements Make Automated Buying Faster and Easier than Ever

Built on AdLearn, the industry’s leading ad optimization technology, AOP allows advertisers to execute and manage their digital marketing campaigns from one central platform. AOL Networks is transforming AOP from a demand-side platform (DSP) to a true programmatic cross-screen buying platform with access to premium inventory, creative executions and analytics. New features include:

  • Real-time bidding on private marketplaces
    Connects advertisers with premium publishers via private marketplaces in supply-side platforms managed through a streamlined workflow alongside reserved and real time bidded impressions.
  • Cross-screen capabilities
    Desktop, tablet (web + app), and smartphone (web + app) inventory with built-in frequency and performance optimization all in one place.
  • Premium format suite
    Highly impactful and viewable placements decisioned and bought programmatically across all inventory types.

To participate in the dialogue: #AOLUpfront.

About AOL

AOL Inc. (NYSE:AOL) is a brand company, committed to continuously innovating, growing, and investing in brands and experiences that inform, entertain, and connect the world. The home of a world-class collection of premium brands, AOL creates original content that engages audiences on a local and global scale. We help marketers connect with these audiences through effective and engaging digital advertising solutions.

About AOL Networks

AOL Networks enables the world's top marketers and media brands to reach consumers across desktop, mobile, tablet and connected TVs with impact through premium experiences, programmatic buying and performance driven campaigns. It is the global partner of choice for leading publishers, advertisers and agencies seeking to maximize the value of their online brands. AOL Networks brands include Advertising.com, The AOL On Network, Be On, ADTECH, Pictela and Adap.tv. You can find more information at www.aolnetworks.com.

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