’s Lewis Sherlock on Working with AOL, the Upfronts and Premium Inventory

Lewis SherlockLewis Sherlock is Director of Strategic Planning at, the programmatic video ad platform acquired by AOL earlier in the year for $405 million. VAN caught up with Lewis to discuss how the integration into AOL was going, the company’s recent upfronts in the US, and the availability of premium video inventory. Lewis will be delivering a keynote presentation on behalf of at New Video Frontiers in London on October 24th.

How is the integration with AOL Networks going?  What’s the future for in terms of the technology the team and the brand?

We do not have a fleshed out timeline yet on integration. continues to operate independently as part of AOL’s video organisation and is included as part of the overall solution offered by AOL Networks to its publishers and advertiser partners. We should have a much clearer plan about what is important to integrate without disrupting the rapidly growing businesses in early 2014.

How did the programmatic upfront in the US go?  Will we see similar events in Europe?

It was truly an honor to be part of the industry’s first ever programmatic upfront, which showcased the power of AOL’s full programmatic tech stack. Advertisers and agencies are tired of having to deal with hundreds of features masquerading as companies, and that was evident by the more than 700 media executives in attendance and who came to understand how programmatic simplifies the advertising transaction. Further validation came from five of the top six holding companies, which made upfront commitments to programmatic packages in 2014.

We don’t currently have an event in the works for Europe, but we know video is a global opportunity and will certainly consider all options down the road.

How much premium inventory are we currently seeing in the exchanges?  

In the UK, we currently have access to nearly 90% of the market – 40% of this is across premium inventory, excluding YouTube. If YouTube is viewed as premium, we are closer to 70%. France is a similar picture; Germany and the Netherlands are further behind. There is still work to do in the other EU markets, but we are making good progress.

This year we’ve seen starting to build out the buy-side of the business. How’s that going, and who are the typical clients? is the technology partner for both buyers and sellers, so our client roster is very broad, including leading networks, publishers, trading desks and agencies. Most of these businesses use our buy side technology in some capacity, with many since 2010/2011 in EMEA. We also provide access for many of the DSPs in the market to buy inventory from Even more interesting, our agency and trade desk partners use our traditional supply side technology to connect with their publisher partners.


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