Last week, AOL announced that it was restructuring its online advertising holdings to create a new ad division, Platform A. Ten days later, TechCrunch has rumors that Platform A will be destined for an IPO of its own:
One knowledgeable source tells TechCrunch that the decision has been made internally at Time Warner to try to spin off Platform A through an IPO sometime early next year. (AOL declines to comment). A lot needs to happen before that plan is put into action, but the writing is on the wall. . . . An AOL spokesperson confirms to me: “The introduction of Platform A marks a significant change in how we operate—putting AOL’s overall network in front of our advertising sales strategy.”
TechCrunch cites the pending changes with Platform A as preparations for their eventual IPO: combining all their divisions and refocusing their efforts on selling advertising across the Internet, rather than on AOL.com.
As a former Time Warner insider, TechCrunch’s Erick Schoenfeld gives a pretty good analysis of the current situation and future prospects for AOL’s advertising business. His basic conclusion is that their prospects could be good—if AOL can avoid repeating its past mistakes. But the name Platform A leaves something to be desired.