Graham Moysey is flying to the United Kingdom next week, followed by Japan and India the week after. The general manager of AOL Canada expects that to be a familiar pattern in the early days of his new role as head of AOL Global Owned and Operated, a business unit of the online content company that includes properties such as The Huffington Post, Engadget and TechCrunch.
Moysey will have responsibility for the maintenance and development of AOL properties in both existing and potential growth countries. He will continue to oversee AOL’s Canadian operation while simultaneously managing its global portfolio from the Toronto office.
Aside from being “firmly entrenched in the Canadian market,” Moysey said his decision to continue working from Toronto is a reflection of the Canadian operation’s standing within the global AOL network.
In the new role, Moysey – who joined AOL from Canwest Media in 2010 – will be tasked with expanding the existing portfolio of AOL properties.
“We define ourselves as a brand company, and we’ve obviously placed a huge emphasis on premium content at scale and that really does speak to the owned and operated assets that we have,” Moysey told Marketing. “To be a successful brand company in this day and age you’ve got to meet the demands of global advertising agencies, and that really is about making sure we have a global footprint with some of our owned and operated assets.”
Moysey said that the company is looking “very closely” at transforming entities such as Engadget and TechCrunch into global brands that feature localized versions in multiple markets. “To me the really exciting component is figuring out within our stable of brands which ones have global resonance and to drive that strategy,” he said.
While AOL boasts an estimated 110 million unique users per month as well as close to 70% reach and nearly 100% brand recall in the U.S, it expects much of its future growth to come from outside its home market. “[AOL recognizes] there are very fertile pastures outside the U.S. and so we’re really excited about the prospect of taking some of our brands into countries where we aren’t currently,” he said.
Moysey will also work closely with Jimmy Maymann, who was named CEO of the Huffington Post Media Group in December. Working out of London, Maymann has a mandate to grow the Huffington Post – which currently produces editions in the U.S., Canada (English and French), France, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom – and its nascent HuffPost Live streaming network.
While the two men will collaborate on growing the Huffington Post brand, their working relationship has yet to be fully defined, said Moysey.
Moysey has played a key role in AOL’s evolution as a Canadian content company since his arrival two-and-a-half years ago. He said the company is committed to growing its lifestyle portfolio and its Quebec presence.
AOL’s Canadian division opened three offices in Vancouver, Calgary and Montreal last year, while the Quebec edition of the Huffington Post has paved the way for a French-language version of its automotive property AutoBlog Canada. The Quebec office has grown to 15 staffers in just nine months, he said.
At the same time, AOL is also actively looking to add to its lifestyle content. Moysey is enthusiastic about the impending launch of the Canadian version of its video-based property On.AOL.ca, which formally launches here on Feb. 14. “We’re really excited about ‘Canadianizing’ our video product, and we’re seeing huge demand there,” he said.
The company is also looking to capitalize on what Moysey called a “massive groundswell” in the programming buying (or real-time bidding) space with the launch of its own demand side platform called AdLearn Open Platform. Moysey said that the platform has seen “tremendous” success in the past 90 days as it plugs into agency trading desks and in some cases works directly with clients.