AOL is trying to transform itself from an Internet service provider to a media company, driven by advertising. And as attention shifts to the mobile Internet from the desktop, AOL realises that it needs to kickstart a mobile advertising business, too.
The company intends to build up a “substantial” mobile advertising business, AOL VP of Mobile David Temkin tells us.
AOL actually already has a real, revenue-generating mobile business, thanks to carrier relationships with AIM. But as it builds out a new mobile app/content business — including new, mobile-first products like Play, a music app it’s launching today — it will need to increase selling and serving mobile ads, too.
Temkin says the AOL mobile ad buildout is still a work in progress, and the company is working on both direct sales/sponsorships and using third-party ad networks.
AOL’s new Play app is sponsored by T-Mobile, for example, in a direct deal. But the free AIM app for the iPhone is running Apple’s iAds, and AOL works with other ad networks, too.
Basically, if you are a mobile ad company, now’s your chance to pitch AOL!
This will be AOL’s second push into mobile ads. It was actually ahead of its time in the business, buying mobile ad network Third Screen Media for a reported $80 million in 2007, way before Google had bought AdMob or Apple had launched the iAd. But Third Screen was scaled way back, and eventually fizzled.
Now it’s time to dial up its mobile ad business again — this time, for its owned-and-operated properties.
NOW WATCH: Tech Insider videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.