This morning, comScore announced its September 2013 U.S. online video rankings, and for the first time, AOL has topped Google as the #1 video ad property. To claim the top slot, AOL served up 3.7 billion ad impressions last month, which is the largest number by a single property ever recorded by comScore Video Metrix. Since this marks the first time that AOL and Adap.tv are being counted as one unit, the news reaffirms the significance of the recent acquisition of Adap.tv by AOL for $405 million.
In a press release announcing the completion of the deal on Sept. 6, 2013, Tim Armstrong, Chairman and CEO of AOL, said, “AOL is well positioned to capitalize on two clear trends in the video space – the movement of advertising dollars from linear to online video and the shift from manual transactions to programmatic media buying.”
And, less than six weeks later, AOL has gone from being “well positioned” to claiming the #1 spot.
This is the first public data combining both Adap.tv and AOL as one unit, and these results reaffirm the significance of the acquisition and speak to the bright future that lies ahead in video. Specifically, Adap.tv is uniquely positioned to accelerate programmatic ad buying across a bevy of premium publishers and brand advertisers -- and indeed, it already has.
We recently highlighted our leadership position in programmatic at our first-ever Programmatic Upfront, where five of the top six media holding companies committed to programmatic ad packages with AOL in 2014. Adap.tv was also named by IPG’s MAGNA GLOBAL unit as its preferred video technology platform, accelerating the agency’s client successes across digital, mobile and linear television. The belief is that by eliminating the many points of friction and manual processes within advertising transaction, we can explode creativity and spotlight the incredible work being done in video advertising.
We’ve also consistently maintained our ranking as one of the top three premium video content properties on the Web by making good on our promise to utilize a syndication model that makes the economics of video production work for publishers and content creators. To that end, we’ve recently announced partnerships with content brands like ESPN, Discovery and The Wall Street Journal, and we’ve launched immensely popular series that have raked in a combined 23 million views to date (according to AOL internal analytic for September 2013).
We’re pleased to see tangible results, and we’re inspired by the speed at which we’ve grown our video offerings to be one of the best in the business. We are currently seeing a 32% increase in video views year-over-year, compared to 17% growth for the overall industry (according to comScore, Video Metrix Media Trend, September 2012 to September 2013), with all signs pointing to strong continued success for video at AOL.
From investing in video advertising to syndicating short-form premium content to launching original programs with well-known talent, we have built a complete solution that brings together both content and technology, arming every edge of the ecosystem with what is needed for the next generation of video.
Sarah Borton of LaunchSquad, who is on the PR team working with AOL’s video arm, set up an email interview with Ashkenazi for me. So, here are my questions and his answers:
Greg Jarboe: Amir, comScore has just announced their September 2013 U.S. Online Video Rankings, and for the first time, AOL has topped Google as the #1 video ad property. Are you going to Disney World?
Amir Ashkenazi: We’re always happy to come in first, but I take the numbers as a directional indication of the growth of industry and, of course, the company. In the last 12 months, our video ad properties have passed one billion, then two billion, and now over three billion video ad impressions. It’s a strong validation of our programmatic solutions and strategy. It shows that media buyers are interested in using complete toolsets like ours to buy and sell ads, and that they want the kind of fast and effective programmatic technology that we provide.
Greg Jarboe: According to comScore Video Metrix, AOL served up 3.7 billion ad impressions to claim the top slot, which is the largest number by a single property ever recorded by comScore. Are you going to Disneyland?
Amir Ashkenazi: It’s an exciting day for us, and it does feel great to break the record. But, it’s only a matter of time before it’s broken again. We’re looking forward to seeing where the industry is headed and how it will continue to evolve and grow. Our platform allows for the buying and selling of video ads across many properties, which is how we were able to reach our September numbers. For example, we work with 72 of the top video properties, according to comScore, so most of our ads were served outside of AOL’s owned and operated properties.
Greg Jarboe: Since this marks the first time that AOL and Adap.tv are being counted as one unit, does the news reaffirm the significance of the recent acquisition and speak to your continued success in video?
Amir Ashkenazi: Absolutely. It really speaks to the power of what we offer together. Combined, AOL and Adap.tv represent a complete solution for agencies and premium publishers, which is something that there really was -- and is -- a need for. The field can be complicated with a lot of niche solutions, so I think it shows how ad tech is evolving, and why we need an end-to-end technology solution. Given our success here, I think we may be seeing other industry leaders thinking along the same lines and moving to try to provide more complete solutions.
Greg Jarboe: Amir, as the CEO and founder of Adap.tv, what else can you tell us about this announcement?
Amir Ashkenazi: Well, it’s really only been one month since we completed our acquisition by AOL, so we’re happy to see such great results early on, and we think it’s a great sign of things to come. AOL is really building itself as a leader in video, and as a leader in content, advertising, and technology for brands -- which is very exciting to watch.