SAN FRANCISCO, January 28, 2014 (ADOTAS) – Federated Media Publishing, the conversational marketing pioneer and champion of content that fuels the social web, today announced that it has sold its content marketing business and all associated trademarks to LIN Digital Media LLC, a subsidiary of LIN Media (NYSE: LIN). Federated Media’s programmatic media and publisher platform business, originally built through the acquisition of Lijit Networks, Inc. in October 2011, will now serve as an independent entity with the name sovrn Holdings, Inc. (“sovrn”) as it rolls out an expanded set of offerings for publishers.
This mutually beneficial deal allows LIN Digital Media to expand its portfolio while enabling sovrn to invest in its programmatic media and platform business. Federated Media will become a portfolio company of LIN Digital Media.
sovrn will be headquartered in Boulder, CO, with additional offices in San Francisco, CA and New York, NY. sovrn currently has more than 30 open positions across all areas of the business – from engineering to publisher development to demand operations. The added investment from the sale of Federated Media will help fuel the company’s growth – which saw a 93% revenue growth from 2012 to 2013 – as well as bring to market new platform-based tools and services. With almost 20,000 publishers in the network, representing over 2 million websites, sovrn currently pays publishers across the independent web approximately $2 million/week.
Walter Knapp (pictured), former COO of Federated Media and Lijit, has been appointed as the new CEO of sovrn. John Battelle, Founder, Executive Chairman, and CEO of Federated Media, will remain with sovrn as its Executive Chairman.
Upon closing of the acquisition, sovrn will own and operate one of the largest and most diverse programmatic supply-side platforms in the world, with almost 3 billion ad requests/day and 180 million U.S. monthly uniques. The company’s RTB (real-time bidding) infrastructure powers one of the largest global ad exchanges in the industry and offers publishers a complete range of programmatic monetization solutions including display, video, mobile and international as well as private marketplaces and data-driven yield optimization. In 2014, sovrn will bring to market new data- and platform-based tools and services for independent publishers.
“As the new CEO of sovrn, it’s my mission to make sure that we are insanely focused on providing the tools, resources and services that enable independent and influential publishers to succeed,” said Knapp. “The proceeds from this sale will allow us to lean heavily into our platform-based programmatic ad services and to roll-out an expanded set of offerings to engage audiences and drive monetization.”
“The transaction with LIN Media will allow Federated Media’s content marketing business not only to thrive, but grow faster – and that means more revenue and opportunities for the partners who have made Federated Media what it is,” said Battelle. “At the same time, our programmatic business has been growing so fast that it demands more focused attention as well as more investment. As an independent entity, sovrn can now fully pursue the dream of building a publisher-facing programmatic platform that leverages all the data and insights we’ve gained over the past few years.”
Pete Sheinbaum, founder and CEO of LinkSmart, said he thinks the move was a smart one for Federated.
“”Coming from my days as CEO of DailyCandy, and most recently here at LinkSmart where we connect marketers and publishers every day in a programatic way, I see the industry is rapidly moving toward a programmatic world of increased efficiency, control, and at lower costs,” Sheinbaum said. ” While there may be a place for direct selling in the future for premium inventory, there is so much content available that publishers must find ways to fill these units or see their RPMs continue to erode. sovrn Holdings (ex-Lijit) has the technology, and leadership with the newly named CEO Walter Knapp, to be a major player in the space going forward.”
sovrn is a programmatic advertising and publisher platform company based in Boulder, CO with offices in San Francisco, CA and New York, NY. With almost 20,000 publishers on the platform, representing over 2 million websites, sovrn provides publishers across the independent web with the tools, services, and analytics to help them grow their site, engage their audience, and make more money. Our RTB (real-time bidding) infrastructure powers one of the largest global ad exchanges and allows us to offer publishers a complete range of monetization solutions including display, video, and mobile across both domestic and international, as well as private marketplaces and data-driven yield optimization.
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