Facebook’s LiveRail Acquisition: the Industry Reaction

Facebook’s acquisition of LiveRail is undoubtedly one of the most significant industry news stories of the year. Not only have we seen one of the leading programmatic video advertising companies taken off the table, but Facebook’s video advertising proposition has suddenly become a lot more interesting. VAN spoke to some of the leading European video ad tech companies to gauge their reaction to the deal:

Sorosh Tavakoli, CEO, Videoplaza

Sorosh Tavakoli, CEO of VideoplazaHats off to Mark and the team at LiveRail! This transaction really validates the success of their business as well as the overall value of technology in the advertising space. Nobody knows what Facebook will do with the asset now, but I think it’s fair to assume it will be strongly integrated into Facebook for internal use leaving the question open on the strategy on third party publishers. Broadcasters and video publishers now need to navigate an increasingly delicate list of suppliers with increasingly complex agendas, be it Google, Comcast, Facebook or of course an independent like Videoplaza.

Jeremy Arditi, Managing Director, Ebuzzing UK

Jeremy Arditi, Managing Director Ebuzzing UK, saidThe announcement shows just how important online video is becoming to advertisers. According to Google, 18 to 34 year olds spend 50 percent more time watching online video than TV – this means advertisers are increasingly shifting their budgets to online to capture consumer attention.  Only last month, PWC predicted that UK online video advertising revenues will more than double from £316m to £717m by 2018.

“For Facebook, which has already made a serious investment in video, this is an attempt to take things to the next level. It lets them offer advertisers the option of serving video ads not just across Facebook but also on other websites. This makes sense in theory, but just how LiveRail’s premium publishers will react to the news remains to be seen. Will they really want Facebook controlling what advertising is served to their sites? Recent history provides a clue as to how they might react: when Google acquired Admeld (an ad optimisation platform for publishers) in 2011, Admeld lost all of its big publishers because they didn’t want to share their data with Google.

“Either way, this is further proof that online video advertising is likely to remain one of the hottest media spaces over the next few years – expect the big players to make more strategic investments in the battle for consumer eyeballs online.”

Herve Brunet, CEO, StickyAds.tv

Herve Brunet“The LiveRail acquisition is more evidence of the strategic value of video advertising technology. The video advertising market is bound to grow rapidly over the next few years and major global publishers need to embrace programmatic video with the right platforms. Technology solutions purposely developed for video will therefore have a bright future”.


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