Time Inc.’s Viant has signed an agreement to acquire Adelphic, a mobile DSP. A statement said that Adelphic’s self-service media planning and execution tools,will be added to Viant’s people-based data and analytics offerings. The terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.
Time Inc are aiming for the open web market which they believe are set apart from the people-based solutions dominated by “walled gardens” like Facebook, Google and Snapchat. Rather than focusing on proxies like cookies for user identification, Viant are aiming to create what they say will be the first people-base DSP, which will be powered by Time Inc.’s and Viant’s large deterministic data set, much of which was built upon the huge dataset that originated from Viant’s acquisition of MySpace.
Commenting on the deal, Paul Gubbins, an independent mobile consultant, said, “We’ve seen RUN acquired by Publicis Groupe, StrikeAd acquired by Sizmek and now Adelphic has been acquired by Viant. All of those companies could have bought DSPs that focus on cookies, but instead they chose companies that specialise in non-cookie-based identifiers. Building out the architecture for processing non-cookie-base information is no easy task, which is why I believe we’ll see more interest in mobile-first ad tech companies in the coming year.”
A senior agency source familiar with Viant told VAN, “Watching the Time.Inc business make the acquisitions it has over the last two years has been interesting to say the least. Even before Time.Inc bought Viant, Viant had done an impressive job of taking the 1st party data from MySpace cleaning it up via offline matching market by market and bringing to life a scaled down version of the “people based marketing” hype that gripped 2016. The use of that data although was locked into the wider Viant ad tech stack, similar to Facebook/Atlas. Adelphic being bought by Viant is another string to the bow of what is looking like a challenger publisher side ad tech play.”
What is next for Time.Inc? The same agency source said they believed that the company will in all likelihood become an acquisition target for the major telcos or the Eastern pubic equity companies. “Many of those companies have appetite for ad tech companies that aren’t always profitable or are able to state the situation publicly. Looking at Time.Inc there’s a lot of tech and capabilities (albeit at smaller scale than the larger digital entities) sitting under the Time Inc. umbrella, much of which will probably appeal to telcos looking for tech and activation layers, or to Eastern PE firms who are seeking to invest money outside of China.”
The deal is expected to close during the first quarter of 2017.