ADOTAS -To bolster its analytics offering, comScore has laid down $22 million primarily in stock for Seattle-based AdXpose and its ad verification and optimization technology. AdXpose had raised $22.8 million in venture capital.
Offering advertisers increased transparency regarding where their ads appear, AdXpose technology will be integrated into comScore’s Campaign Essentials holistic analytic product, which the company has been rapidly building out. In June, comScore introduced Device Essentials, which enables clients to analyze traffic by device and connection type.
Previously known as Mpire, the company recently changed its name to its flagship ad verification product when it raised $3 million in funding from existing investor Draper Fisher Jurvetson. However, before the introduction of AdXpose, Mpire’s chief enterprise was a widget advertising platform called WidgetBucks, which seems to be all but dead now.
“With audience-buying becoming increasingly prevalent in digital media planning today, there is a growing demand for analytical tools that enable greater transparency and accountability in ad delivery,” said comScore president and CEO Dr. Magid Abraham. “The AdXpose technology will enable comScore to bring this important dimension of advertising effectiveness to its clients.”
Similar to retargeting and dynamic creative, ad verification has long had aura of an add-on service rather than a standalone business. Even though the technology was despised by ad networks at large — particularly when it involved blacklisting that the networks deemed arbitrary — many ad tech companies partnered with verification providers. For example, ZEDO and CONTEXTWEB both established partnerships with AdXpose.
In a very candid and insightful interview with Adotas back in October 2010, Ryan Polley, then-Mpire senior vice president of product strategy and currently AdXpose chief operating officer, commented: “Looking back at how the verification space came about, advertisers were in some cases being taken to the cleaners by unsavory networks and publishers who hid their business practices behind an opaque curtain. Verification shined a bright light on the industry, enabling advertisers/agencies to gain the upper hand – to a fault.”
Back in March, ad verifier Adometry was acquired by traffic evaluator ClickForensics — the merged company now touts a multitude of services, in particular attribution services. Seems like verification companies are finally being consolidated — is AdSafe Media next on the auction block? Who needs to toughen up their analytics offering?