AOL’s freshly appointed Chief Mobile Officer of Platforms and Advertising Mark Connon on Friday laid out his vision for 2016 as he takes over responsibility for leading the company’s global mobile strategy.
Connon’s guidance will see AOL lean in to four core areas of focus, including mobile, video, data and openness.
“The ways in which we consume content and generate revenue have made drastic shifts toward mobile,” Connon said in a statement. “Audiences and advertisers alike seek a connection to drive relevancy and reach. I am excited to take on this role and help accelerate AOL’s powerful mobile opportunity.”
For mobile, Connon said the company will hone in on the massive amount of consumer engagement that happens in mobile apps. Connon said in-app actions account for 87 percent of consumer engagement and occur across an average of five apps per day.
Connon also said the company will target the increasing prominence of video in the mobile community as the content type grows from 55 percent of mobile data traffic to a forecast 75 percent by 2020. Though Connon said the opportunity is fairly obvious, he noted that video offers the “highest engagement opportunities” with consumers.
On data, Cannon said the company will look to meet the needs of brands seeking a superior experience.
“You need access, scale and precision to compete at the highest levels,” Connon said. “Brands want to know how they can combine first-party data from world-class media properties with rich third-party data in effective and open environments.”
Connon said he will also strive to create an open media environment with “flexibility, control, transparency, free markets, access, scale, and fluidity.” Connon said such an approach will be welcomed by a mobile ecosystem that is “crying out for open.”
In addition to these four priorities, Connon said the company will also look to re-engage customers who have been put off by ads rather than bowing to ad-blocking fervor.
“One theme to emerge (at Mobile World Congress 2016) was the unity of the big three – AOL, Facebook and Google – when it comes to ad-blocking,” Connon said. “In a heated panel debate with Shine, it was clear the ad industry should be talking and focusing on content, creative and innovation, versus ad blocking.”
In May, Verizon acquired AOL in a $4.4 billion deal it said would help create a scaled mobile platform for advertising. The deal also netted Verizon access to AOL’s large digital content portfolio.
Though Verizon CFO Fran Shammo said last month go90’s figures have “surpassed what we thought we would have at this time,” he said the product will likely not cross the line into profitability for another year or two.
According to AOL, Connon joined the company through its recent acquisition of Millennial Media in September. As part of Millennial, Connon served as executive vice president of Platform Business.
In his new role, Connon will report to AOL CEO Tim Armstrong.