$300M: AOL Gets Into the Behavioral Ad Targeting Game

July 24, 2007

Coming on the heels of the formation of OMG Digital, which has begun developing proprietary media intelligence capable of tracking consumers’ interaction with digital advertising, is AOL’s purchase of Tacoda, an ad firm which uses “behavioral tracking.”

From NYPost: “After acquiring its way into the video and mobile ad-serving marketplace, CEO Randy Falco is moving AOL into the behavioral-targeting ad market with a deal to purchase Tacoda, The Post has learned.

“Sources said AOL is paying between $200 million and $300 million in a deal that could be announced as early as today.

“Tacoda, which will operate as a wholly owned AOL subsidiary, is one of several online ad firms that use ‘behavioral targeting’ techniques to track Web surfers’ habits. Through its so-called ‘Audience Network,’ Tacoda helps marketers tailor ads to individual users for such things as cars or computer equipment.” Since Microsoft’s pending April bid for Doubleclick there has been a quickening of large Silicon Alley companies gobbling up online advertising companies.

>From WSJ: “The deal is the latest by AOL, which is shifting from a subscription model to one supported by advertising, to expand its catalog of advertising tools … Tacoda, founded in 2001, has put together a network of thousands of diverse sites that allow for insertion of behaviorally targeted ads … The deal ‘will build on our advertising momentum, letting us better serve advertisers by enhancing our ability to precisely target advertisements across an even broader network,’ said AOL President Ron Grant in a press release Tuesday.”

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