Media

AOL rolls out native mobile ads across its properties

AOL CEO Tim Armstrong.

Above: AOL CEO Tim Armstrong.

Get ready to see a bunch of native ads on your phone.

Sandwiched between Twitter’s native ad exchange launch and news of a native mobile ad network from Facebook, AOL today announced a native mobile ad unit of its own.

The native mobile ad platform enables marketers to purchase ads across AOL’s own properties, including Huffington Post, TechCrunch, Engadget, and AOLMail, as well as third-party AOL Networks sites. AOL says its native ad unit reaches 86 million folks per month.

What makes these ads “native” is their consistency with the sites on which they appear. So marketers provide AOL with images and text, and AOL will automatically tailor those creative materials to match a site’s format.

AOL’s first native ad unit is a mobile app download placement, which redirects people to download the advertised mobile app, but it plans to offer other formats soon.

Marketers view native ads as more effective than banner ads, which have atrociously low click-through and conversion rates. AOL said its native ad test clients report post-click conversation rates more than six times higher than they measure on their mobile banner ads.

“Native mobile ads are just better than mobile banner ads — they’re easier to read, less annoying, and we get fewer accidental clicks,” Tyler Davis, partner at digital agency Chong + Koster, said in a statement. “So when our AOL team told us they’re rolling out native mobile ads … we were more than just excited, we wanted to be among the first advertisers to run these ads.”

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