AOL’s Acquisition: The Industry Reaction

As the dust settles following AOL’s $405 million acquisition of, how do the company’s partners and competitors feel about the deal? VAN spoke to three leading figures from the video ad tech world to find out:

Mark Trefgarne, CEO of LiveRail

Mark TrefgarneFirst of all, congratulations are due to Amir and Teg. They are incredible, world class entrepreneurs that saw the coming convergence of television with the Internet many, many years ago. With that foresight and an entrepreneurial drive to execute, they built one of the biggest and most important companies in the online video industry. It’s been a long road, but today’s outcome is recognition of their years of hard work, dedication, commitment and vision. Most importantly though, this is also recognition of the critical position that video is now occupying for both online audiences and marketers.

Aol has made a significant bet that video will become the dominant driver of brand advertising online. This acquisition enables them to compete effectively for brand dollars by combining their growing investment in originalvideo content via the Aol On Network, with a leading technology stack that embeds them into the daily workflows of major trading desks and advertisers. We are still in the infancy of the online video market, and I firmly believe the time will ultimately come when Television itself becomes a digital medium. At that point this may prove to be one of the wisest acquisitions Aol ever made.

Nick Reid, Managing Director at Tubemogul

Nick Reid

AOL’s acquisition of is a positive move for us – reaffirming TubeMogul’s sole efforts on technology and brand advertising and is significant from an investment perspective. Automated buying that puts advertisers in control has always been distinct from ad networks and media arbitrage plays. This is proven by’s higher relative valuation in terms of revenue above IPO’s of its competitor ad networks.

Andrew Bloom, SVP of Strategic Business Development at DG

Andrew BloomThis acquisition makes a ton of sense for AOL and and I congratulate them both. has built an integrated stack of supply and demand side technologies that span the programmatic and RTB video supply chain. This fits very neatly into AOL’s strategy to be a leader in programmatic and video, giving them a number of key ingredients, particularly on the supply side with’s yield and marketplace tools.

I would also commend and their investors on the timing and avoiding an IPO. I believe that would have started to find it difficult to compete against numerous other well-funded and more focused combatants across both the supply (SSP, yield, video ad server, exchange, marketplace) and demand (DSP, ad server, campaign management) side of the marketing cloud.

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