A+E Networks to Use AOL’s Programmatic Platform in Massive Deal

Includes ad buy across HuffPo, TechCrunch and more

AOL has struck a deal with A+E Networks that will allow A+E Networks to use AOL's programmatic ad platform, ONE By AOL, and publisher solutions that includes an upfront ad commitment.

"They're licensing our technology to create a private marketplace," Tim Mahlman, president of AOL Publisher Platforms, explained to Adweek. "Which allows them to actually use our technology and create their own exchange marketplace by inviting their own partners into their own closed ecosystem."

The agreement is a first-of-its-kind for AOL. It rolls up multiple services into one offering, which Mahlman said was key to this deal and something AOL is looking to do more of heading into 2016. "Historically, we would have gone in and probably pitched them six different ways," he said. "This is something that will be recipe for us as we continue to move on."

The wide-ranging deal includes AOL's publisher solutions platforms, including AOL Marketplace and Gravity (which will become the personalized content recommendation platform for History.com). As of now, the deal doesn't include a TV component, but Mahlman said that would be something they'd revisit down the road.

"A lot of these publishers, they love the idea of moving toward a more programmatic way of thinking, but they also want that control and transparency of how their inventory is going to be leveraged across the demand sources that they want to partner with," continued Mahlman.

Meanwhile, A+E Networks has agreed to an upfront ad commitment across AOL's properties including Huffington Post, TechCrunch, Moviefone and Microsoft's Xbox.

"It kind of validates a lot of what we as a company have been investing in and betting on and the future of how advertises and publishers would want to embrace this type of solution," said Mahlman.