Neustar Under New Ownership; AppNexus Launches PreBid

ExchangeWire round up some of the biggest stories in the European digital advertising space. In this week’s edition: Neustar acquired by private investors; AppNexus start PreBid for video advertising; Ineffective targeting of online campaigns; OperaMediaworks rebrands; The Weather Company goes off-platform; Ve Interactive buys Crave & Lamb; and BillFront receives funding.

Neustar acquired by private investors

US tech and communications company Neustar have been sold. A private investment group led by Golden Gate Capital have bought Neustar in a deal worth USD$1.83bn (£1.44bn), ABC news reports. Neustar’s shareholders – who have yet to approve the deal – will receive USD$33.50 (£26.45) per share in cash, representing a premium of 45% to Neustar’s closing stock price on November 11, 2016, prior to deal.

“We believe this transaction will enable us to continue to execute against our strategy and strengthen our market position as a leader in marketing, risk, security, and communication solutions”, said Lisa Hook, president and CEO, Neustar. “Golden Gate Capital and GIC offered us a compelling opportunity to continue to invest and pursue long-term growth with operational flexibility, and we look forward to working with these two sophisticated investors.”

The transaction is expected to close at the end of Q3, 2017. However, it is still subject to approval, by not only the shareholders, but also regulatory approval. In Germany and the UK, Neustar have recently appointed two new country-specific managing directors.

AppNexus Launches PreBid for Video Advertising

AppNexus takes the next step in header bidding. The US ad tech specialist releases video header bidding capabilities in prebid.js. PreBid Video facilitates selling of video inventory while getting best market prizes for video publishers. Additionally, AppNexus promise improvements for the user experience by decreasing latency.

“PreBid has become the new monetisation standard for display advertising, helping publishers realise the best market price for their inventory in a fair and transparent auction and avoiding the ‘Google AdX tax’, says Eric Hoffert, SVP video technology, AppNexus.

PreBid Video is open source and designed to support multiple video players, multiple video ad servers, and multiple demand sources. “While PreBid Video gives video publishers the same monetisation benefits as header bidding for display, it is also designed to mitigate latency, which has been a key area of focus for AppNexus’ video technology initiative”, Hoffert points out. “Everyone wins – publishers, advertisers, and consumers – when the industry transitions away from closed algorithms and blackbox methodologies to header bidding’s open-auction approach.”

PreBid Video is now available in beta on GitHub, including prebid.js source code. The technology supports instream video for pre-roll, mid-roll, and post-roll ad units and is currently integrated with the AppNexus Video SSP. Latency reduction is conducted through a creative audit process with the AppNexus Video SSP so that ad managers running secondary auctions are excluded.

WARC: Ineffective targeting of online campaigns

According to a study released by WARC, almost half of all online campaigns in the UK miss their target audience. The study, conducted by Nielsen for a WARC article, found that targeting success rates in the UK (47%) are lower than in Germany (58%) and Italy (57%), but higher than in France (43%).

In general, mobile ad campaigns seem to be better at reaching their intended audiences, the study finds. However, accuracy depends significantly on the particular demographic that campaigns seek to engage. For example, mobile ad impressions in the UK reach their target audience a third of the time, if targeted at one gender across a medium age range spanning 16-30 years. That compares to 28% on desktop.

Narrower age ranges, spanning less than 16 years, only have a rate of 22% of mobile impressions reaching their target audience (desktop: 20%).

The report studied 3,400 UK campaigns that ran between April and June 2016.

Opera Mediaworks rebrands as AdColony

From January 2017, Opera Mediaworks will unify under the AdColony brand name, the company have just announced. The reason: the recent sale of Opera ASA’s namesake consumer browser has made the name obsolete. Instead, Opera Mediaworks want to operate under the name already known in the market.

Thus, the new AdColony unites brand, performance, and publishing business under a single name, including all areas of the former Opera Mediaworks and AdColony business, i.e. display, streaming video, video, and associated technologies and ad formats across AdColony’s programmatic marketplace.

According to Opera Mediaworks’ press release, the upcoming rebrand will not bring changes to clients and partners.

The Weather Company expands access to ad-targeting platform

The Weather Company are extending off-property access to their programmatic platform. WEATHRERfx’s targeting capabilities will be made available through partnership with The Trade Desk and Vistar Media.
Thanks to the collaborations, marketers will be able to target via WEATHERfx across a variety of programmatic campaigns.

“By expanding the availability of our WEATHERfx platform off-property with The Trade Desk and Vistar Media, marketers will be able to apply our proven and successful WEATHERfx targeting to a much larger portion of their overall media and marketing, and make their overall campaigns more targeted and relevant based on local weather conditions”, explains Jeremy Steinberg, global head of sales, The Weather Company.

“The Trade Desk’s collaboration with The Weather Company enables advertisers to achieve a more granular level of decisioning, resulting in even more dynamic and contextually relevant ads,” details David Danziger, VP of enterprise partnerships, The Trade Desk. “Our customers are able to use this additional layer of WEATHERfx data to better target consumers across their whole campaign, from mobile to connected TV, native to display, and everything in between.”

The expansion of WEATHERfx will also reach across off-platform properties for targeting across email marketing, and on marketers’ owned and operated websites or mobile apps.

Ve Interactive acquires Crave & Lamb

An investment in programmatic – that is how Ve Interactive are billing their latest acquisition. The data company have acquired programmatic media buying and creative agency Crave & Lamb. The deal is worth £3m, Ve Interactive disclosed in their release.

The acquisition of Crave & Lamb comes hot on the heels of a previous programmatic buy: in September 2016, Ve Interactive took over Optomaton, a programmatic video advertising company.

According to Ve, the acquisition is an attempt at strengthening Ve’s position in the programmatic market, while giving clients access to more ad inventory in order to reach new customers.

David J. Brown, CEO and founder, Ve Interactive comments: “As our M&A strategy evolves, it’s becoming increasingly important to acquire the best-in-class so we are able to provide our clients with innovative technology and enhanced expertise. The acquisition of Crave & Lamb allows us to fulfil our strategy and provide even more value to our growing client base.”

BillFront closes Series A funding

USD$35m (£27.6m) is the proud sum raised by fin tech company BillFront. Earmarked for funding to help digital media companies fuel their growth, the company is planning to expand their alternative finance platform for digital media businesses.

Investors in the first funding round include 4finance, NIBC Bank Deutschland, as well as existing investor FinLeap.

BillFront co-founder and managing director, Christopher Vogt, comments: “There is a clear need for growth capital within adtech; and our solution provides an attractive alternative to expensive equity capital on one hand, and often inflexible debt financings on the other. And, we make requesting funds through our platform so seamless that our clients can focus more on their core business.”

BillFront is based in London and Berlin, and works with advertising agencies, DSPs, SSPs, ad exchanges, networks, as well as publishers and app developers, to help them access their media revenues.

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Via ExchangeWire

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Lars is Google’s Head of Marketing across Singapore, Malaysia, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. With nearly two decades of international experience in the Internet and media industry, his passion lies at the intersection of technology and marketing. His career spans across the globe - from Europe to the emerging markets in Asia - from early stage start-ups to large organizations, providing him with an in-depth understanding of marketing, sales and business development across cultures and industries. In his current role he is responsible for local B2B and B2C brand and product marketing across all Google and Youtube services and devices.

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