NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- One-time dialup Internet provider AOL (AOL) held its second annual "programmatic upfront" on Monday, all part of establishing CEO Tim Armstrong's company at the forefront of the new technologies remaking advertising, especially online video and display ads.
To highlight its upfront event -- a play on the television industry's annual spring ad-selling upfront -- AOL said it had secured an expanded partnership with Paris-based advertising giant Publicis Groupe to encompass not only digital video but also traditional television ad spending.
Likewise, Havas Media Group said it broadened its relationship with AOL to include TV buying, ostensibly to use its newly-announced measurement tool for television which pairs audience data for specific programs with brands' own consumer data.
But AOL doesn't want to just be every advertising agency's partner placing hundreds of online advertisements with the swipe of a few keystrokes. The owner of Huffington Post and TechCrunch wants to do the same with television, which has been reluctant to use programmatic platforms -- sophisticated computer systems that match marketers with online publishers and network operators -- to sell commercial space.
Led by Armstrong, the former Google advertising executive, AOL has invested more than $400 million over the past year remaking the company as a high-tech advertising platform. In May, AOL purchased Convertro, a marketing analytics company, for $101 million. With a market capitalization of $3.5 billion, AOL is far larger than pure-play programmatic stocks such as Rubicon Project (RUBI) , YuMe (YUME) and Tremor Video (TRMR) .