AOL Offers DSP Service

  |  March 20, 2012   |  Comments

AdLearn Open Platform will compete with Turn, MediaMath, DataXu, and Google's Invite Media.

AOL has taken the ad management system used internally by Advertising.com for years and made it available for external licensing. The new product, called AdLearn Open Platform, will function as a demand side platform (DSP), offering plug-ins to various sources of data and display ad inventory. It will compete mainly with DSP companies such as Turn, MediaMath, DataXu, and Google's Invite Media.

The product will provide direct, real-time bidded access to inventory from a range of sources, including Advertising.com's network of 4,500 publishers; AOL-owned sites like Huffington Post, Engadget, and TechCrunch; and third-party media and data exchanges commonly accessed through DSPs.

The list of third-party display ad marketplaces available through AdLearn includes Right Media Exchange, DoubleClick Ad Exchange, PubMatic, AdMeld, Rubicon, and others. Among the data partners are BlueKai, Experian, Datalogix, Targusinfo, and Bizo. Ad buyers are also able to bring first-party data.

The product launches in beta today, with both self-service and managed service offerings. AOL did not disclose licensing fees associated with it for large ad buyers. And make no mistake, the product is strictly built for those buying on a large scale; in other words, agency trading desks, large individual marketers, and possibly independent agencies.

"AOP was built for a sophisticated advertiser," said Doug Boccia, VP platform solutions for AOL. "If you look at our release partners, they're agencies that have a scaled programmatic buying business."

Those launch partners are two in number: IPG's Mediabrands Audience Platform and Omnicom Media Group's Accuen. "As an AOP Founding Partner, we look forward to collaborating closely on future feature-sets and premium offerings," said Brendan Moorcroft, CEO of the Mediabrands Audience Platform, in a statement.

Boccia said earlier versions of the AdLearn product were the foundation of Ad.com for 13 years. Back then the company was called TechnoSurf and had not yet been acquired by AOL.

"Every campaign we have in our system bids for inventory against our publisher base," Boccia said. "AdLearn has been decisioning much like it's been running on its own exchange for years."

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Zachary Rodgers

Until March 2012, Zach Rodgers was managing editor of ClickZ's award-winning coverage of news and trends in digital marketing. He reported on the rise of web companies, data markets, ad technologies, and government Internet policy, among other subjects. 

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