AOL Launches Pictela Platform To Attract Advertisers

AOL: AOL logo

AOL (NYSE:AOL) is making yet another bid at improving its display ad monetization. The company recently launched the beta version of Pictela, [1] a self-service platform designed to create premium display ads. AOL hopes to attract more advertising networks to its web properties through this launch as advertisers will have more freedom and customization for creating their own advertisements. AOL operates in an intensely competitive display advertising market, with players like Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Facebook.

See our complete analysis for AOL’s stock here

Pictela is essentially the answer to Google’s own self-serve platform AdSense. The platform is intended to provide a fully integrated ad-building platform, which would include ad creation, styling as well as analytics for ad performance.

While the premise certainly looks good on paper, Tim Armstrong would hope for better results from Pictela than from its previous ad-initiatives like Project Devil. [2] We have cited AOL’s declining margins as a key issue for the company, and a fully-equipped ad platform could provide the necessary premium on its ad rates.

We have a revised price estimate of $16 for AOL stock, which is around 12% below the current market price.

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  1. AOL Announces Beta Launch of Pictela Enterprise to Help Scale Premium Brand Advertising on the Web, Business Wire, 27th Feb 2012 []
  2. AOL’s Armstrong feeling the heat with Project Devil, Reuters, 8th Sept 2011 []