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AOL Drops Another $100 Million on an Ad Tech Company


AOL Chairman and CEO Tim Armstrong, center, smiles during opening bell ceremonies of the New York Stock Exchange Thursday, Dec. 10, 2009.
Image: Richard Drew/Associated Press

AOL is continuing its not-so-quiet attempt to become one of the Internet’s leading advertising platforms.

The former dial-up ISP has reached a deal to buy Convertro, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal. The digital advertising firm uses data to track which ads lead to purchases, known as marketing attribution.

AOL is reportedly paying $89 million for the company plus a $10 million incentive based on undisclosed goals.

Attribution tracking is of growing importance to online marketers that seek to fully understand the impact of advertising campaigns. Google recently acquired Adometry, which boasts a similar technology to Convertero.

The tremendous amount of data generated by online advertisements provides the data that Convertero analyzes to understand patterns in consumption. An ad seen by a person a day before a purchase may not get the credit it deserves.

“The web, for better or worse, operates on a last click attribution system,” said AOL Platforms CTO Seth Demsey.

“Attribution modeling is really fancy way of saying who gets credit for what,” Demsey said.

The deal provides AOL with yet another ad technology firm to bolster its burgeoning online marketing platform. In March, AOL announced it’s new integrated online ad platform called “One.”

The acquisition is among AOL’s largest ad investments since its purchase of in August for $405 million.

AOL’s acquisitions have helped it to overtake Google for most video ads served as well as attract major ad agency dollars.

Founded in 2009 by Jeff Zwelling and David Feldman, Convertro previously raised about $5 million in January from DAG Ventures and Bessemer Venture Partners.

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