Early this week, news broke that Comcast had acquired the Paris headquartered ad tech start-up StickyADS.tv demonstrating yet another tie up of the cable and telco sectors to the ad tech world.
The financial terms of the deal have not been publicly disclosed; however, the media has reported that the deal was all cash and worth at least $100 million.
StickyADS.tv is a supply side platform who specialise in aiding premium publishers in TV to embrace programmatic video ads. Its platform allows publishers to control, build and run video private exchanges in an automated fashion. According to a press release, StickyADS.tv supports the advertising businesses of some of the biggest broadcasters in Europe, including TF1, France Télévisions, and M6.
The start-up will be combined with Comcast’s existing ad tech company, FreeWheel, which is a Comcast platform service company. Comcast bought FreeWheel in 2014 for around $360 million.
The acquisition seems like a clever and almost natural move from a company aiming to strengthen its programmatic inventory in video, especially given that StickyADS.tv was Comcast’s preferred supply side platform prior to the acquisition. StickyADS.tv is an attractive company for Comcast as the acquisition will no doubt bring more programmatic functionality particularly in a more premium environment. In addition, the Europe-centric company should help Comcast gain more deals outside of the US.
In a press statement released on 9 May FreeWheel stated that the acquisition:
strengthens FreeWheel’s capabilities to deliver an end-to-end automated ad technology platform that enables publishers to maximize monetization of their own video inventory across traditional direct sold and market demand sources while ensuring full control, compliance and creative safety.
Meanwhile Hérve Brunet, CEO and Co-founder of StickyADS.tv expressed his excitement at joining the Comcast family, stating:
our focus on a private exchange, serverside architecture is perfectly aligned with FreeWheel’s technology in addressing the specific needs of premium publisher.
This is yet another strategic move from a large company outside of the traditional ad tech sector looking to increase its influence in ad-tech and recognising its importance. This follows on from Verizon’s acquisition of AOL last year reported here on ADTEKR and more recently Telenor’s acquisition of TAPAD early this year.
Not only does this acquisition highlight yet more consolidation in the ad tech market, it also demonstrates a global broadcasting company’s commitment to programmatic video advertising. The ad tech sector has seen a rise in video advertising being traded programmatically as advertisers increasingly move budgets from linear TV. eMarketer predicts that by 2017 the number of video ads traded programmatically will dramatically increase and figures will fall in line with digital display ads. Acquisitions like this will no doubt aid that increase.