“While we’ve made a lot of investment into programmatic with the launch of the AOL One platform, you may at different points see us make more investment into the content or culture side of the business,” Norton said. “When we’re talking to a brand as a sales organization, they may be looking for performance through the platform and other times, they may want to tell a brand story. … We want to enable both.”
AOL recently restructured its sales organization and made significant changes to the AOL Video business. Last fall, it poached Viacom’s head of connected content, Dermot McCormack, to oversee the development of original video content and new live video formats including morning show “AOL Rise,” tailored for short, two-minute mobile video clips.
“The device has become the new daypart,” Norton added. “We took a very hard look at how people consume videos throughout the day based on the device they’re using.”
Unsurprisingly, AOL says commuters like mobile-friendly, short and consumable content. In the afternoon, it is desktop-driven. At night, it’s seeing a lot of “companion watching through tablet and OTT devices,” Norton said.
One night earlier at Yahoo’s annual NewFront, where it, too, talked up live streaming and original content, CEO Marissa Mayer framed video as “display 2.0.”
A big focus was on the 63 million monthly uniques Yahoo drives to its slate of “digital magazines,” which it claims outperforms the combined reach of traditional magazine’s print and digital offerings, as well as live-streaming concerts and music festivals through its partnership with Live Nation and new original program, “Ultimate DJ.”
Yahoo took a decidedly less “device-specific” approach and, instead, focused on its inherent targetability of video audiences via programmatic exchange BrightRoll and video ad formats through Tumblr and native platform Yahoo Gemini.
“Let us put our data to work for you,” Mayer said, claiming access to 1 billion global users and 150 billion daily activities on Yahoo properties between site search, email and mobile app usage with its acquisition of Flurry.