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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : September 11, 2015

Experts: How the AOL/Millennial deal will impact mobile

Advertisers and agencies want to know: what does the AOL/Millennial Media acquisition mean for the online and mobile spaces. Two experts offer their insights as to what this deal could mean.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: How does the acquisition affect AOL's mobile engagement capabilities? And how does it allow AOL to compete in the increasingly important and competitive mobile advertising market?

Jon Baron, Chief Revenue Officer, IgnitionOne: AOL has bought the market leader managed service mobile player. Millennial's reach is huge. This deal, again, delivers scale and better targeting capabilities. If they can integrate this effectively it quickly moves them into being a major player.

Sean Cullen, EVP, Product & Technology, Fluent: This acquisition is more about increasing the size of AOL's mobile network rather than significantly enhancing its capabilities. Scale is absolutely essential for AOL to grow its mobile market-share and increase adoption of its mobile ad products and platform. With increased impression volume, AOL should be able to leverage its capabilities and portfolio to grow.

Kristina: How will the announcement affect the advertising industry and other major competitors?

Sean: AOL becomes a more attractive option for marketers and agencies and the expanded scale and breadth of AOL's mobile ad network will allow them to better compete with the major players in mobile. However, it also sends a message to the entire industry that Verizon's purchase of AOL earlier this year isn't reducing their appetite for acquisition. We expect the trend of larger companies using acquisition to grow capabilities and size to continue as mobile continues to become even more important.

Jon: Emerging from some major M&A activity and long-term growth is a handful of powerhouse closed systems/walled gardens. I'm talking about Facebook, Google, and now Verizon/AOL. Who has the scale to join them? Can Yahoo pull it off? What about Comcast and other telcos? This deal will continue to drive consolidation - as if you can't compete at scale you will be forced to a niche.

Tags: AOL, Fluent, IgnitionOne, Millennial Media, mobile marketing, mobile trends

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