Two major deals have been completed over the last couple of days, with VideoAmp buying Specialist Conversion and Fox Corp buying Tubi, an encouraging sign that businesses are still managing to get deals done and work through tricky conditions created by the COVID-19 outbreak.
VideoAmp, an LA-based video ad tech company specialising in optimisation and measurement, has announced a deal to buy cross-platform attribution company Specialist Conversion for an undisclosed fee. VideoAmp says the acquisition will bolster its own optimisation tools, particularly around TV attribution.
The deal will see Conversion Logic’s tools integrated into VideoAmp’s own platform. Conversion Logic’s tech includes a simulation and optimisation engine, and machine-learning attribution models which are designed to measure the incremental impact and lift of advertising on business outcomes such as sales, in-store visits and subscriptions.
“Existing Conversion Logic clients will be able to leverage the VideoAmp platform, and we look forward to delivering a unified approach to attribution through the integration of assets into our platform,” said JP Pereira, who joins the VideoAmp team from Conversion Logic, taking the role of SVP of marketing science. “Coming from Conversion Logic to VideoAmp, I can see just how powerful the integrated solutions will be to enable a holistic view of cross-channel media performance.”
VideoAmp co-founder and CEO Ross McCray said he was impressed with Conversion Logic’s tech, which he said “has consistently been rated as best in class for software AI and machine learning […] We are very excited to integrate Conversion Logic into VideoAmp to further extend our capabilities in multi-touch attribution and scenario planning.”
McCray’s company has been building out its TV capabilities as it seeks to capitalise on the convergence of TV and video, helping buyers optimise their spend across screen, and this new acquisition marks a continuation of this strategy. And it seems investors have faith in VideoAmp’s efforts. The company secured $15 million in a funding round led by RTL back in 2015, followed by a further $21 million in 2017, and last closed a $70 million investment round led by The Raine Group – particularly notable at a time when investment in ad tech had largely dried up.
VideoAmp’s acquisition wasn’t the only big M&A deal of the day, as Fox Corporation also announced it has agreed to buy free ad-supported streaming television (FAST) platform Tubi for $440 million. Fox says it it financing the deal by selling its stake in OTT device and platform maker Roku.
Fox had been rumoured to be lining up a deal for Tubi, which sees one of the few remaining major independent FAST platforms snapped up . Fellow FAST platform Pluto TV was bought by Viacom for $340 million at the start of January last year, while XUMO was acquired by Comcast for an undisclosed fee just last month.
While Tubi will continue to operate independently, it will give Fox another way to reach its audiences and distribute its content – Tubi claims to reach a monthly audience of 25 million unique users, which it says are largely younger consumers who are less likely to watch traditional TV. “Tubi will immediately expand our direct-to-consumer audience and capabilities and will provide our advertising partners with more opportunities to reach audiences at scale,” said Fox Corp. CEO and executive chairman Lachland Murdoch. “Importantly, coupled with the combined power of FOX’s existing networks, Tubi provides a substantial base from which we will drive long-term growth in the direct-to-consumer arena.”
In return, Fox says Tubi will be able to leverage Fox’s partnerships and capabilities in advertising and distribution, while also benefiting from Fox’s ability to promote the service on both its local and national networks.