Ad:tech – AOL Marketplace Enters Crowded Programmatic, er, Marketplace

AOL Networks has introduced a new supply-side platform with the cumbersome name of Marketplace by AdTech. AOL chairman and chief executive Tim Armstrong unveiled the platform at the unrelated ad:tech San Francisco yesterday, while startups vied for attention in the crowded space.

Marketplace was built on AdTech, AOL’s cross-platform ad server, to help publishers efficiently sell their remnant inventory – and concentrate on hand-selling premium ad space. Marketplace can be used as a standalone or as a feature of the AdTech ad serving platform.

Michael Connolly, chief executive of Sonobi, a competitive digital display advertising exchange that like Marketplace, claims to be focused on the needs of publishers, says AOL’s task will be to differentiate itself from all the other SSPs out there.

“Programmatic buying and selling is the future of advertising,” Connolly says. “AOL is making the investment and that makes very good sense. AOL will have to bring a unique demand to the ecosystem of programmatic buying. They mentioned transparent, efficient and preloaded with demand. Those are pretty much the prerequisites.”

It’s not only the DSPs, SSPs and RTB platforms that need to try to distinguish themselves. New mobile app and advertising platforms proliferated at AdTech. TapIt is a mobile advertising platform with real-time bidding capabilities and a self-service portal. Bizness Apps focuses on small businesses with vertical-specific templates. It aims to provide white-label mobile app development services so that agencies and service bureaus can quickly and economically provide apps to their own clients.

With all those mobile apps comes malware, according to RiskIQ. Its service extracts and analyzes information from the web and mobile app stores. It constantly runs apps from more than 30 app stores to check for We test applications for malicious behavior and misuse of brands or logos.

Hoping to get ahead of the social listening tools pack is Blab, which applies patented algorithms to social media to predict where conversations will develop and where they’ll take place. The company says it can predict developing conversations and stories over the next 24, 48 and 72 hours. Companies can use this information to head off negative stories, take the lead in conversations about their brand, create content tied to emerging trends, and even buy AdWords that are cheap today but will become more valuable in the next 72 hours.