Bill Pence, CTO at AOL

While AOL is mostly known for it’s presence and dominance in the US market, trends in the last few years have taken the company across the ocean with global acquisitions throughout Europe and Asia. Earlier this month, Bill Pence, AOL’s CTO came to Israel to promote the company’s new initiative for university relations and its newly formed program with the Israeli Technion Institute for Technology and Science. We tracked down Mr. Pence to learn more about how AOL is really seeing the rest of the world.

AOL Started many years ago and went through more than several transformations in the recent years, changing the company focus and strategy. What does today’s AOL look like?

I think that what makes AOL unique is we’re not just building content, we’re building content platforms. And I think that’s where the strategy is really going. The way that websites are monetized is changing radically. It’s getting automated, it’s getting mechanized, even through programmatic buying. Video’s coming into the mix. That’s going to be mechanized as well. And then there’s a blurring taking place between web video and TV as that starts to go online.”

So I think it’s a deliberate strategy trying to build content platforms. So if you think about the programmatic platform, we power a lot of advertising for a whole network of partners. We do big sites like Tech Crunch and the Huffington Post and we power those. But those are really the showcases for how we really power networks.

Until recently, AOL has been a pretty US-centric company. But we’re starting to see that the company is looking towards the rest of the world, both in terms of content and users and in terms of talent. How do you see the world outside the US as a part of the company strategy today?

Huffington Post is rolling out an international creative aggressively. There’s a Greece edition that’s launching, and there’s another edition for Arab countries rolling out next year. So we have a very limited approach to where we’re going internationally. We’re not in a rush to push all things to all places in the world. We’re trying to build great platforms, and then we’ll usher programmatic things out in a very typical fashion.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email