AOL Unveils Cross-Screen Programmatic Ad Platform ‘One’

onebyaolAOL has unveiled plans for a programmatic advertising platform for brands, agencies, and publishers called One by AOL.

The platform, which is currently in development, will include the integration of several of AOL Networks’ programmatic platforms, including, which provides buyers and sellers with automated tools to plan, buy, measure, and optimize across linear TV and digital video; AdLearn Open Platform, a programmatic mobile and display platform that allows advertisers and agencies to manage, optimize, and analyze online marketing campaigns from one central platform in real time; and Marketplace, a programmatic mobile and display platform that AOL says delivers online publishers more demand stability and liquidity and maximizes the value of their non-reserved inventory.

AOL says the platforms will combine to create a cross-screen, cross-format, and global programmatic ad platform that will “drive powerful brand insight and action across all screens, including TV, formats, and inventory types.”

One will be sold as an enterprise solution and will also be used by AOL as its dedicated programmatic platform.

Customers will be able to start using portions of the platform later this year, AOL says.

AOL chief executive (CEO) Tim Armstrong and Bob Lord, CEO of AOL Platforms, announced the creation of One during a keynote at ad:tech San Francisco 2014.

In addition, Matt Seiler, global CEO of IPG Mediabrands, announced IPG Mediabrands plans to be the charter agency network partner for One as it plans to deliver 50 percent automation to its North American buying process by 2016, with international markets to follow.

That means any publication IPG has a relationship with could use this platform to make a decision on every impression that comes in and use that data to decide which ads to show to which consumers, says Toby Gabriner, president of

According to AOL, One will be the first platform that empowers brands with a holistic view of the consumer’s journey through the marketing funnel and makes that insight actionable in real-time.

The platform will take media planning and management “to a new level,” with predictive analytics that provide insight on metrics like reach, frequency, and performance, as well as post-campaign insights that look across all screens and formats to deliver immediate impact on brand metrics, AOL says.

One is format-, screen-, and inventory-agnostic – from video, display, and TV to tablet, desktop, and mobile devices and to reserved and non-reserved inventory across AOL or any other publisher or media source, AOL says.

“Over the last five, six years, [AOL] has amassed quite a number of technology assets or programmatic assets from display and mobile, most recently with the acquisition of, and we’re combining all of these under one umbrella such that now we’re able to connect all of these different platforms into a single platform,” Gabriner says. “The idea for this platform is to manage the customer all the way through that [entire marketing] funnel and understand the attribution of various media investments along that funnel.”

According to Gabriner, the way in which media is bought and sold is still fairly manual and it is the last major industry that hasn’t adopted automation and tools.

Plus, fragmented audiences make it difficult to manage. One will allow agencies to manage their entire media investment in a single platform.

According to Gabriner, this will result in efficiencies in how they operate as well as increase efficacy of campaigns, as campaign managers can be smarter about moving dollars among channels depending on performance, which can happen in real time.

“Our industry has developed too many niche offerings and specialized services over the last 25 years, and chaos in ad tech is at an all-time high. The inefficiencies, ineffectiveness, and expense of managing multiple teams, tools, and metrics for display, mobile, and video, across all devices, are stifling,” Bob Lord, CEO of AOL Platforms, echoes in a statement.

“The Holy Grail of marketing is helping marketers understand how direct-response and brand budgets can interact together. With the goal of driving economic efficiencies and media effectiveness, One ensures that data drives media selection and allocation, pricing, and creative. It is the integrator of media across every screen and the automator of decisions that have long not needed human attention. I believe a platform like One – that is open and that doesn’t discriminate – will win,” Lord adds.

AOL says it is also renaming its technology division AOL Networks as AOL Platforms to “better explain its sophisticated platform offerings to marketers, agencies, and publishers.”

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