CANNES — Time was, AOL was just your common or garden dial-up ISP. Now with a booming video empire and as part of the Verizon footprint, it is becoming a player in the converging TV and advertising spaces.

That puts Dan Ackerman, AOL’s programmatic TV SVP, who came to AOL via its acquisition of the video ad-tech provider Adapt.TV, at the center of disruption.

“We want to help an advertiser activate their valuable data,” Ackerman tells Beet.TV in this video interview. “Why should that be relegated only to the digital environments? Let’s open that up for TV.”

Whilst TV ad targeting has always been carried out using rough audience panel data, AOL is helping brands leverage their own data on existing customers in order to reach them again through TV outlets including NBCU and Univision.

It’s one example of how programmatic is beginning to make in-roads even to traditional TV as a data layer over linear.

“That creates a great value proposition for a marketer,” Ackerman adds. “They’re kind of leap frogging over being limited to just age and gender as a definition of the group of people they want to reach.”

Targeting is great, but Ackerman warns: “You don’t ever want to give up the broad reach of broadcast television. But that can be more addressable, and that’s what we’re talking about.”


This video was recorded at Cannes Lions 2016 at a Beet.TV leadership summit on advanced television and advertising hosted by Carat. For more segments from the session, please visit this page.