AOL Launches Self-Serve Programmatic TV Buying

AOL is launching software that allows agencies to buy national linear TV advertising using programmatic technology on a do-it-yourself basis, and the huge agency holding company Omnicom has agreed to be the launch partner.

AOL already has a managed service called One by AOL that has handled about $100 million in TV ad buys since 2014. The new self-serve product gives buyers greater control over the data they use and the money they invest.

“We are bringing a game-changing opportunity to our linear TV buyer and seller partners that will transform the way TV media is valued, bought, and sold,” said Dan Ackerman, senior VP, programmatic TV at AOL. “We are maximizing the power of AOL’s patented first-party predictive targeting tools and putting insights and analytics directly in the hands of our buyers.”

Related: A+E Using AOL for Programmatic Efforts

Ackerman says AOL has relationship with a number of media vendors in broadcast, cable and syndication who have agreed to sell ad inventory over its programmatic platform. The platform allows for bother public and private marketplaces.

The programmatic TV buying module will be available before the 2016 upfronts, but client are unlikely to begin using it until the start of the new TV season, Ackerman said.

Related: NBCU Launches Linear Programmatic Sales

“Coupled with our end-to-end One by AOL platform, we are now able to offer advertisers a more holistic approach to campaigns across TV, mobile, and video,” he added.

One by AOL users will be able to input first-party data and third-party audience data. AOL scores various media options to see how well they target a particular consumer and buyers can use the software to create and execute a media plan.

Related: ITN Says Most Stations Ready for Programmatic

 “This provides our clients the opportunity to begin to realize the benefits of advanced targeting in linear TV,” said John Swift, CEO, North America Investment at Omnicom Media Group. “It is a critical first step in our journey towards programmatic and, ultimately, household level addressability at scale in TV.”

Programmatic buying is a big and growing part of the digital advertising environment. For TV, it has been slowly expanding.

Related: Fox AIMs to Build Ad Business With Data

The software had been in use in Australia with the launch of a programmatic private marketplace for TV in June 2015, a milestone for the global media industry.

AOL charges users a technology fee for it software. It will also continue to offer a managed programmatic buying service for clients.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.