But as a greater number of publishers appear ready to forge ahead in programmatic, AOL's timing may be good enough. The company's third party network revenues have surged the past few months. And as a publisher itself, it has appeal.
In terms of ADTECH, which was based in Germany at the time AOL bought it and continues to have a considerable European presence, the benefit of the SSP is clear. It shows the commitment to a fairly well known brand and it shows how AOL is moving quickly to make the most out of its existing properties, rather than turn to yet another acquisition and difficult integration.
Dave Jacobs, who oversees AOL's publisher-facing solutions and tech platforms, said the company took a long look at the core services within ADTECH, and decided it made the most sense to extend an SSP from its existing capabilities. It's been beta testing the SSP functions for a few months with 50 publishers who have a combined 400 sites, he noted.
"We have a tremendous amount of experience working with publishers. We've seen a lot of evolution," Jacobs told AdExchanger. AOL is a customer of ADTECH as well, but it's never been about serving AOL solely. The introduction of the SSP will help publishers better understand what we have to offer."