AOL Takes No. 1 Spot For Online Video Ads

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AOL, an online company many had given up for dead, is making a comeback. It recently acquired Adap.TV, a company that automates the purchase of video ads. And in September, it topped Google in one category: it had the most video ads watched, with 3.7 billion views.


Now, even with that positive news, Google is still not the leader in online video advertising. That would be AOL. The Internet pioneer leaped over its competitors last month, to take the No. 1 spot. NPR's Laura Sydell explains how that happened.

LAURA SYDELL, BYLINE: The secret to AOL's video advertising success - acquisition. Last month, AOL took ownership of Adap.TV, for which it paid over 400 million bucks. Clark Fredrickson, of the research firm eMarketer, says Adap.TV sells video advertising packages that appear on sites all over the Web.

CLARK FREDRICKSON: A video over the banner of your local newspaper's website, for example.

SYDELL: Or those 30-second ads that stand between you and that sports clip you want to watch on ESPN's website. Adap.TV was just behind Google in video ad views before AOL took it over. Now, Comscore tracked the combined companies with 15 percent more views.

AOL CEO Tim Armstrong is banking on Internet video. AOL has also got some A-list celebrities producing Web series for the company - like Sarah Jessica Parker.

SARAH JESSICA PARKER: It's called "City Ballet."

SYDELL: eMarketer predicts online video ad spending will double by 2016, to over $8 billion.

Laura Sydell, NPR News.

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