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AOL focuses on mobile video

News, 03 March 2015

NEW YORK: Internet giant AOL is planning "bold moves" in mobile, with video set to be at the heart of its plans for the coming year, according to CEO Tim Armstrong.

Already half of AOL's monthly visitors are mobile, and more than half its ad revenue comes from multiplatform sales, including mobile.

"The future is social, mobile and video, and AOL has a big presence in each of those areas," Armstrong told Advertising Week.

"You've seen us make really bold moves in content, in video and in programmatic advertising – and a huge driver of that is what we expect to happen in mobile," he added.

And what he expects is that within five years mobile operators will be offering 5G connections that run at speeds 100 times faster than current 4G can deliver, with video featuring prominently – taking up 80% of available bandwidth – in how consumers are using their devices.

AOL has acquired a number of adtech and content businesses over the past couple of years, including Adap.tv and the Huffington Post, which are likely to play a major role in his vision for AOL.

"For 2015, the focus is on a limited set of really powerful brands," he said.

Armstrong hinted at what was in the pipeline. "The next step in video for us is the combination of creation and content," he explained.

"We have some products coming out in the first half of this year, which will not only allow people to have a much better experience on mobile with video – in terms of what the players are and the type of content – but also the ability to actually create video on mobile as well."

Armstrong also pointed to Rise, a newly launched live morning news show designed specifically for mobile consumption.

"The core human need that AOL serves is as a content brand, and its ability to help other content brands get to consumers," he stated.

"Consumers today and in the future will have a need for really big content brands to curate the world for them."

Data sourced from Advertising Week; additional content by Warc staff