Third-Party Platform Boosts AOL's Ad Revenue 16%

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Connected connects. New formats score at AOL.
Connected connects. New formats score at AOL.

In a first-quarter earnings report released today, AOL reported a 55% increase in its third-party platform revenue driven by increased interest by brands in new premium formats. The gain also reflected incremental revenue from Adapt.tv, the programmatic video ad platform it acquired last September.

The increased investment in new, long-form AOL video series such as the documentary show Connected offset decreases in the search and display businesses at the company. A 3% drop in global display revenue was attributed to some $10 million in spending lost to discontinued operations such as Patch, and declining queries caused a 1% dip in search revenues. Overall Q1 advertising revenue rose 16% to $433 million compared to last year's first quarter.

In an effort to build on momentum behind its third-party platform, AOL yesterday announced it would acquire Convertro, a provider of attribution modeling technology that aids marketers in maximizing ROI on their spends across online and offline channels. Convertro promises to manage consumer journeys through the entire purchase funnel.

Last week, AOL announced that it would roll out 16 new original programs in 2014, focusing on celebrity-hosted reality shows starring James Franco, Steve Buscemi, Ellen DeGeneres, and Zoe Saldana.

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