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AOL works affiliate marketing into widgets

Members of Buy.at, an affiliate service that's now part of the Time Warner unit's Platform-A, can now use Groowy widgets to spread their ads across the Web.

AOL's Platform-A subsidiary is now bringing affiliate marketing to widget ads. If that sounds like a lot of media speak, that's because it is.

To power widget ads, AOL acquired start-up Goowy in February, and it has already worked the acquisition into Platform-A. As part of Tuesday's announcement, Goowy's technology has been officially incorporated into Buy.at, an affiliate network that AOL also acquired earlier this year.

"Once a publisher places a widget on their Web site, consumers can grab it and distribute the widget to other locations on the Web, including social-network pages, desktops, and blogs," a release from AOL explained. "The publisher earns revenue for each sale driven by the widget, even if it's several download generations away from the publisher's site."

AOL has made many significant advertising announcements in recent months as part of its refocus on online media, but it's still having a rough time as a subsidiary of Time Warner.

While AOL's ad revenues were up 2 percent in the second quarter of 2008, it wasn't enough to make up for losses at its once-powerful access service--which Time Warner plans to spin off.