News Byte: AOL Acquires Adap.tv

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Tim Armstrong. Photo Credit: Intelligent Speculator
Tim Armstrong. Photo Credit: Intelligent Speculator

AOL, Inc. announced its agreement to acquire programmatic video advertising platform Adap.tv yesterday for $405 million as part of its premium content and publisher focus. The buy consists of $322 million in cash consideration and $83 million in AOL common stock.

"AOL is a leader in online video and the combination of AOL and Adap.tv will create the leading video platform in the industry," Tim Armstrong, AOL CEO and chairman, said in a press release. "The Adap.tv founders and team are on a mission to make advertising as easy as e-commerce and the two companies together will aggressively pursue that vision."

Adap.tv will be run as an independent segment of AOL's video organization, headed by SVP Ran Harnevo, and become part of the AOL Network end-to-end solution, offering publishers and advertisers premium original production, content aggregation and syndication platforms, video CMS technology, and a programmatic video platform. AOL's investment in digital video and premium content has pushed AOL On Network, one of the AOL Network brands, to secure the number two spot in monthly video views in the U.S. for nine of the past 12 months, according to comScore.

"Two trends are prevalent in the video space right now – the movement from linear television to online video and the shift from manual transactions to programmatic media buying. Adap.tv is positioned squarely in front of the huge opportunity these trends are presenting," Armstrong said.

Marketers could see that AOL was on the road to programmatic progress back in April when AOL announced the addition of MARKETPLACE, an SSP created to help publishers control their ad inventory, at Ad:Tech in San Francisco. At the conference, Armstrong argued that companies need to combine technology with human creativity to optimize their ad buying processes.

Adap.tv, cofounded by Amir Ashkenazi and Teg Grenager in 2007, supported more than 26,000 global ad campaigns running on approximately 9,500 websites last year, according to AOL's release. Ashkenazi, CEO of Adap.tv, hints that this is just the beginning.

"At Adap.tv, we are focused on building the most important business within the most important category in digital advertising," he said in the release. "We believe that most TV advertising will soon be traded programmatically on platforms like ours. The combination of AOL and Adap.tv accelerates our vision of efficient and effective TV and video advertising."

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