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AOL Buys Lightningcast

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AOL has acquired privately held broadband video advertising company Lightningcast, Inc. of Washington, D.C. to expand its online video advertising offering. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Lightningcast specializes in broadband video and audio ad insertion and campaign management and is credited with pioneering developments in on-demand, live, and downloadable web video content.

Earlier this year Lightningcast launched the “InStream” video advertising network, to expand its role in managed insertion of streaming media advertising by becoming a direct seller of streaming media inventory (across its third party network) to advertisers.

AOL has been using Lightningcast’s advertising platform since 2002 for AOL Radio and later for AOL Video, partnering on projects like the recently launched broadband network, “In2TV“, from AOL and Warner Bros. The acquisition is intended to support AOL subsidiary Advertising.com’s efforts to centralize resources for online marketing.

“This acquisition will provide a huge infusion of talent, technology, and publisher relationships for Advertising.com at a time when streaming video is growing at a blistering pace,” said Mike Kelly, President, AOL Media Networks, which oversees Advertising.com.

Kelly called Lightningcast a “clear leader” in the video ad market.

AOL will merge Lightningcast streaming media technology, its 34 employees, and advertising network operations under Advertising.com within AOL’s Audience business unit. Advertising.com’s newly launched pre-roll video network and the InStream network will merge, operating under the InStream name.

The combined network will comprise 300 websites and 175 million monthly streams. Advertisers will be able to target video campaigns across the network by behavior, demographic, and content channel.

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Lightningcast’s existing InStream sales force will continue to focus exclusively on video, and work closely with the Advertising.com sales team to maximize the growing opportunities in video advertising. Lightningcast will also continue to build and expand its third-party video ad-serving business, which serves many of the leading online video publishers.

AOL Buys Lightningcast
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