Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

What’s the Point of Spending $400 Million if You Can’t Brag About It?

tim_armstrong_aolIn August, Tim Armstrong made his biggest bet ever as CEO of AOL, by buying Adap.tv, a Web video ad company.

Today, Armstrong gets his first bit of payoff from his $405 million investment: He gets to say that AOL now serves more Web video ads than Google, and more than anyone else in the U.S.

That’s because comScore, the Web traffic counter, has now combined Adap.tv’s ad-serving total with AOL’s. Which means, by comScore’s count, AOL/Adap.tv served 3.7 billion video ads last month, versus Google’s 3.2 billion.

That is: Two things combined are bigger than something else.

The AOL/Adap.tv numbers do show a bit of growth beyond the basic 1+1 arithmetic. In August, AOL served 525 million video ads, and Adap.tv served 2.45 billion. Last month, those numbers bumped up to 597 million and 3.125 million, respectively.

But, while passing Google — which happens to run the world’s biggest video site — is a fun bragging right, it’s not a permanent one.

As Ad Age notes, video ad network BrightRoll topped Google’s numbers three times in the last year. Today, it’s back in the No. 3 slot.

comscore video ad google aol adap.tv


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald