AOL inked an agreement to employ DoubleClick's ad management platform, DART for Publishers (DFP), across all AOL brands. The rollout begins before the end of this year.
AOL Media Networks, AOL's ad sales, commerce and search division, is currently piloting DFP on Mapquest. The planned rollout means DFP will handle ad serving, targeting, inventory management and reporting across AOL's myriad online properties, including AOL.com, AOL Instant Messenger, Compuserve, Netscape, Mapquest, Moviefone, Time Inc. Interactive, CNN, CNNMoney, and icq. Combined, these properties reach an audience exceeding 104 million users, according to comScore Media Metrix.
The deal specifies DoubleClick will develop enhancements to the DFP platform. According to AOL Media Networks EVP David Lebow, some will be proprietary, addressing issues unique to AOL technology. "We'll also fund some innovations that will be felt across the DART tool," he said.
David Rosenblatt, DoubleClick's president, told ClickZ News the enhancements include, "A number of workflow tools AOL will use to productize their audience. The idea is to empower their sales force and give them the ability to very quickly put together media packages. We're making pretty substantial improvements to the forecasting abilities."
AOL, under existing agreements, is already using DoubleClick solutions for data and campaign management, email, and search and affiliate marketing.
Financial terms of the contract weren't disclosed, but the deal is a coup for DoubleClick not only in terms of its size, but because the company has been searching for a buyer for some time. "With a media property as large as AOL adopting the DART technology, already widely used by online advertisers, we're creating a common technology platform and industry standard for online ad management, said Rosenblatt. "The addition of a Top-Three publisher pushes us along the path of creating an industry standard for online ad management. One of the benefits of this deal is it's a pretty strong endorsement."
The DFP product has found the company significant new clients this year, such as FOX Broadcasting.
AOL Media Networks President Mike Kelly said in a statement, "On the heels of our acquisition of Advertising.com last summer, we will have what nobody else has -- absolutely state-of-the-art ad serving and optimization."
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Rebecca was previously VP, U.S. operations of Econsultancy, an independent source of advice and insight on digital marketing and e-commerce. Earlier, she held executive marketing and communications positions at strategic e-services companies, including Siegel & Gale, and has worked in the same capacity for global entertainment and media companies, including Universal Television & Networks Group (formerly USA Networks International) and Bertelsmann's RTL Television. As a journalist, she's written on media for numerous publications, including "The New York Times" and "The Wall Street Journal." Rebecca spent five years as Variety's Berlin-based German/Eastern European bureau chief. Rebecca also taught at New York University's Center for Publishing, where she also served on the Electronic Publishing Advisory Group. Rebecca, author of "The Truth About Search Engine Optimization," was ClickZ's editor-in-chief for over seven years.
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