AOL Launches Publisher Side Of ONE Platform

For now, simplification means only one account rep and agreement instead of as many as six. Eventually: a single sign-on and integrated dashboard/product line.

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For AOL, One plus One equals One.

In April, the Verizon-owned company launched its ONE consolidated, programmatic platform for advertisers. Yesterday, AOL announced at the Internet Advertising Bureau’s Annual Leadership Meeting in California that it is now adding another ONE, called ONE by AOL: Publishers.

It’s all the same “umbrella brand for monetization” with a publisher side and an advertising side, AOL president of publisher platforms Tim Mahlman told me. The company claims that about 75,000 publishers employ its services.

While the announcement unveils a new brand with a portfolio of products, he acknowledged this is not an announcement about a fully integrated product.

The publisher components — a variety of distinct products/brands that AOL said cost about a billion dollars in acquisition or development over the last six years — are not yet one. Mahlman said that the technical unification of the products, starting with a single sign-on and eventually ending up in a single dashboard and fully integrated platform, will take AOL well into next year or beyond.

For now, a publisher dealing with the company can have a single account rep and one agreement, instead of different contacts and different contracts for each product.

The components that are being rolled up into this new ONE include:

  • AOL On video syndication and video library, including the Vidible video syndication platform (which Mahlman founded and which AOL bought in 2014) and the Be On content platform.
  • The Marketplace display ad sell-side platform (built on the Adtech and acquisitions).
  • ONE by AOL: programmatic video ad platform, formerly
  • Millennial Media mobile ad platform.
  • Gravity personalization engine.
  • And, in announcing ONE by AOL: Publishers, the company also said it is buying the Paris-based AlephD, which provides publisher analytics and “dynamic price floor optimization.”

Earlier this month, AOL unveiled a strategic partnership where Taboola will provide content discovery for its properties.

Aside from potentially simplifying the overwhelming and overlapping audience targeting and ad tech capabilities that confront publishers, one question is whether this ONEness will make a bottom line difference to publishers.

Mahlman predicted that ONE for publishers will save “up to 15 percent in time out of the gate” and will initially mean at least a 15-percent bump in revenue because of the additional pricing efficiency afforded by AlephD’s real-time pricing analytics.

“This is the year of the publisher at AOL,” he pledged, where ONE will integrate with a wide range of publisher-related outside tech — as opposed to what he described as the “walled gardens” of Google and Facebook.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.

About the author

Barry Levine
Barry Levine covers marketing technology for Third Door Media. Previously, he covered this space as a Senior Writer for VentureBeat, and he has written about these and other tech subjects for such publications as CMSWire and NewsFactor. He founded and led the web site/unit at PBS station Thirteen/WNET; worked as an online Senior Producer/writer for Viacom; created a successful interactive game, PLAY IT BY EAR: The First CD Game; founded and led an independent film showcase, CENTER SCREEN, based at Harvard and M.I.T.; and served over five years as a consultant to the M.I.T. Media Lab. You can find him at LinkedIn, and on Twitter at xBarryLevine.

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