AOL Platforms first outlined its plan to build an open platform supporting programmatic buying of online display and video advertising, as well as linear television and eventually radio, more than a year ago. Today marks the official launch of that platform in North America, and as part of that, the company is rebranding acquired companies under the One by AOL banner.
Adap.tv, which AOL acquired in 2013, will now be known as One by AOL: Video. Meanwhile Khan, Adap.tv's managing director for Southeast Asia since December 2013, now holds the same title for AOL Platforms. (The company's definition of "Southeast Asia" means he is in charge of the whole region except Japan and Australia.)
Khan told Campaign Asia-Pacific that while Adap.tv customers in Asia won't see huge changes in the functions available to them immediately, today's news shows that the company is poised to roll out significant enhancements over the next six months. An enhanced DMP (data-management platform) is rolling out right away, and clients can look forward to tools for display buying, multiscreen attribution and behaviour analysis.
The exception is Australia, where the company has partnered with pay-TV provider MCN and is launching 'One by AOL: TV'—its tool for programmatic buying of linear TV—today.
"We have had a great year since launching in 2014," Khan said. "We're building on that by enhancing the current product. And then as we begin to grow and take on more local markets, we will then roll out enhanced versions of the platform."
Khan stressed that One's modular, open nature sets it apart from competitors and will help the company tailor its offerings for the needs of advertisers and media owners in local markets. "As an open platform, we can not only enhance our own parts of the stack, but we can work with third-party partners through the API [application programming interface] to create versions that are somewhat bespoke and attuned to the customers' needs."
Aside from securing sufficient local inventory, examples of this tailoring would include local-language support and incorporating locally relevant targeting data, Khan said.
The One by AOL: TV offering is launching first in Australia because that market's "closed ecosystem" made it somewhat easier to find the right partners, Khan said. The launch will serve as a proof-of-concept for the benefits of programmatic TV buying, and the tool will come to other Asian markets as they are ready for it, he said.
"Going to TV media owners in markets where TV is still predominantly the king and gets the vast majority of budget, there’s a bit of the attitude of 'Why do I need to think about this?'" Khan said. "In markets where digital already commands a greater share of spending, those conversations are easier.”
IPG Mediabrands, which has pledged to automate half its media spending by 2016, is the 'charter' agency network for the One platform. Other acquired properties AOL is rebranding today are AdLearn Open Platform, which is now One by AOL: Display, and Convertro, which is now One by AOL: Attribution. AOL Platforms also owns the Be On video-syndication platform.