AOL Partnering With Gannett Unit for New Interactive Ads


Internet company AOL said Monday it is partnering with a unit of Gannett Co. to offer new forms of interactive advertising that incorporate audio and video elements.

Building on an existing relationship with PointRoll, AOL will get an exclusive window to use several new rich media ad formats under a two-year strategic alliance in which AOL becomes PointRoll’s “preferred portal partner.”

PointRoll will work with AOL to create the formats.

Under the deal, for example, AOL will be able to incorporate video within regular banner ad spaces, exclusively for several months.

Another format offers an alternative to the increasingly popular “pre-roll,” in which viewers are forced to watch a video ad before the main news or other clip. The PointRoll technology will give users more options on how and when they watch the ad.

The companies did not disclose specific financial terms.

The alliance comes as AOL attempts to boost revenues from online advertising to make up for declines in subscriptions to its dial-up Internet access services. Those declines accelerated following AOL’s move in August to give away e-mail addresses and other features once reserved for paying customers.

AOL is a unit of Time Warner Inc. Gannett, publisher of USA Today and other newspapers, bought privately held PointRoll Inc. in June 2005.

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