INVIDI, an ad technology company specialising in addressable TV advertising, has announced it is acquiring the ad tech division of video distribution business Ooyala for an undisclosed fee. The ad tech division, which started life as an independent company called Videoplaza before being bought out by Ooyala in 2014, owns a sell-side ad serving platform called Ooyala Pulse which focuses primarily on digital video advertising and programmatic trading.
Once a noteworthy rival to FreeWheel for the premium end of the video advertising market, particularly in Europe, the ad tech company’s positioning faded under Ooyala’s ownership and then Telstra ownership as it became somewhat muddled with the video player offering. The ad tech offering was also damaged by the news that the $500 million acquisition of Ooyala was written off by Telstra over the last couple of years.
However, the company say that Ooyala Pulse is used by over forty customers in Europe, India, and elsewhere , and INVIDI says it will bring on more than forty software engineers and account managers to support its new acquisition.
“The combination of Ooyala’s advertising technology with INVIDI’s addressable television advertising system will provide our global clients with a best in class, cross-platform ad management and addressable advertising product suite,” said David Downey, CEO of INVIDI. “INVIDI is dedicated to enhancing the value of TV advertising through addressable advertising wherever and whenever viewers are watching. The acquisition of Ooyala’s advertising technology extends the reach of advertiser campaigns with a single campaign management system providing consistent experience management and enabling extended optimisation techniques.”
The purchase represents continued investment in ad tech by US telecoms giant AT&T, which owns a majority stake in INVIDI alongside fellow telco DISH Network and agency holding group WPP. INVIDI’s addressable TV advertising technology has been used by AT&T’s DirecTV since 2009, and was rolled out across AT&T more widely in 2015, prior to AT&T and the rest of the consortium buying out INVIDI last year.
Unlike AppNexus, AT&T’s big ad tech purchase earlier this year, INVIDI remains independent of AT&T’s ad tech division Xandr, but Xandr’s CEO Brian Lesser does chair the board of directors.
Ooyala had been exploring structuring options after its management completed a buyout from Australian telecoms company Telstra back in October. Telstra completed a buyout of Ooyala back in 2014, and oversaw its expansion into ad tech through the acquisitions of Videoplaza and Nativ, but the company has struggled in the period since.