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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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik