Mediaocean LLC, a firm best known for its TV advertising software, has agreed to acquire 4C Insights Inc., a marketing technology company specializing in audience data, analytics and ad planning across streaming video and social media.
Mediaocean is paying more than $150 million in cash and equity in the deal, which values Mediaocean itself at about $2 billion, according to a person familiar with the matter. The deal is expected to close this month.
Mediaocean provides software for the advertising industry to manage ad deals, helping marketers, ad agencies, media owners and others keep records of what they bought and sold as well as handle invoicing and payments, among other services. The company said it processes more than $150 billion in annual media spending globally, including $60 billion that goes to TV advertising in the U.S.
But the television business is changing rapidly as viewers flock to streaming services and internet-connected boxes and TV sets. People are also spending more time on social media platforms such as
The deal is a bid by Mediaocean to keep up, said Bill Wise, the firm’s chief executive.
“Mediaocean has processed $70 billion of TV year after year—that has been the most consistent part of our business. What we’ve started to see is, there is more and more fragmentation of that $70 billion,” Mr. Wise said. “Users are consuming quote-unquote TV inventory on many devices.”
4C Insights said more than $2 billion in annual ad spending runs through its Scope platform, which offers audience insights and media planning tools for streaming TV, among other channels. Its tech lets advertisers target custom audiences using their own data or a third party’s, for example, as well as choose from a menu of streaming ad deals curated by 4C across different streaming apps.
Marketers also have a greater need to follow audiences as they move across different screens and content types, and to reach them efficiently with more precise targeting.
“But there are silos with the way marketers use technology: they go out and buy solutions but those solutions often don’t work together,” said Joanna O’Connell, principal analyst at Forrester Research. “It results in lost performance and a drain on the consumer experience.”
4C’s tech is plugged into social media platforms from companies such as Facebook Inc., Twitter Inc. and
and lets marketers target audiences and plan ad campaigns that span multiple platforms, said Lance Neuhauser, chief executive of 4C Insights. This is useful for marketers interested in reaching the same type of users across different screens and platforms in an effective and efficient manner, he said.
One of the key hurdles for Mediaocean and 4C will be to get marketers and ad agencies to buy into the expanded offering. Agencies already have their own datasets, ad-planning software and ad-tech partnerships to buy streaming TV and social media, for example.
One ad-buying executive said Mediaocean could benefit from the fact that it is already used by agencies globally, making it faster to deploy Mediaocean’s new capabilities than if it was a completely new product or company.
Mediaocean’s tech integrates with other advertising tools and services, Mr. Wise said. This includes datasets owned or used by marketers and their agencies, he said.
Mr. Neuhauser will become president of Mediaocean; 4C founder Alok Choudhary will become chief scientist at Mediaocean, a role he currently holds at 4C, and will also join the firm’s board of directors.
This is Mediaocean’s 10th acquisition since it was acquired by private-equity firm Vista Equity Partners in 2015.
Write to Sahil Patel at [email protected]
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