This chart shows one big reason why Verizon just spent $4.4 billion on AOL

Verizon announced on Tuesday that it’s acquiring AOL for roughly $US4.4 billion.

At a morning conference¬†for analysts, John Stratton, head of Verizon’s operations, said its “principal interest was around the ad tech platform that Tim Armstrong and his team have done a really terrific job building.”

So how big is AOL’s ad tech business? According to the chart below by BI Intelligence, AOL’s third-party platforms, which include programmatic and traditional ad marketplaces, is about a third of AOL’s total business. It accounted for 37% of total revenue in the last quarter, up from its 24% share just two years ago. Its publishing business, which includes big-name brands like Huffington Post and AOL.com, still comprise the bulk of the overall business, but the ad tech side is growing at a faster clip.

Verizon has seen its business slow down as its core mobile broadband and internet traffic turn into “dumb pipes,” BI Intelligence writes. The AOL acquisition instantly gives Verizon a new revenue source that could potentially make Verizon a major digital-advertising player in the ad tech space.

NOW WATCH: Tech Insider videos

Want to read a more in-depth view on the trends influencing Australian business and the global economy? BI / Research is designed to help executives and industry leaders understand the major challenges and opportunities for industry, technology, strategy and the economy in the future. Sign up for free at research.businessinsider.com.au.