AOL acquires programmatic ad vendor Convertro for US$101m

7 May 2014

Internet giant AOL has entered into a deal to acquire Convertro for US$101m in a move that will expand the company’s programmatic advertising lead.

The acquisition follows hot on the heels of AOL’s acquisition of programmatic enterprise platform ONE.

The acquisitions of Convertro and ONE will boost AOL’s ability to manage the consumer experience across a variety of connected formats, from web and mobile to linear and connected TV.

“AOL is making advertising easier for marketers and agencies, as well as publishers,” said Tim Armstrong, chairman and CEO of AOL.

“Our agreement to acquire Convertro demonstrates our continued commitment to bring efficiency to the advertising industry through automation and machine learning. Our focus on the AOL Platforms business has positioned AOL for growth as the trend around programmatic advertising continues to transform the industry.”

The agreement to purchase Convertro comprises US$89m in cash, US$2m in converted stock and a US$10m earn-out over 17 months.

In the eye of a digital storm

In January, CEO of AOL Networks Bob Lord told that AOL’s 170-strong operation in Dublin will be in the vanguard of a major shift in AOL’s transformation of its ad-delivery systems over the next 12 months.

Lord said the company is shifting to what he describes as a “programmatic” advertising platform that will automate and match inventory across display, mobile, social, TV and video.

“We are endeavouring to build a one-stop-shop for global advertisers, whereby major brands like Unilever and Coca-Cola can come to us directly to find their audience.

“The lynchpin is a system that allows us to work with the brands, the agencies and the publishers themselves to achieve pinpoint accuracy and return on investment.”

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John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years