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Yahoo’s Next Move: How the Acquisition of Flurry Amps up Mobile Ad Play

Written on
Jul 24, 2014 
Author
Richard L. Tso  |

Just on the heels of Yahoo’s lackluster Q2 earnings call last week, Re/code broke the news that Yahoo will be acquiring mobile analytics and ad marketplace company Flurry for as much as $1 billion although actual financial details have not been disclosed. This purchase coincides with Marissa Mayer’s vision to help turn Yahoo into a “mobile-first company” as she articulated on last week on earnings call before the Flurry news broke this yesterday.

“We have reached a definitive agreement to acquire Flurry, the industry leader in mobile analytics,” Yahoo said in a blog post. It said the purchase ”reinforces our commitment to building and supporting useful, inspiring and beautiful mobile applications and monetization solutions.”

Yahoo has been going through somewhat of an identity crisis as of late, just a glimpse at declining display advertising revenues (down 24 percent) illustrates this point and industry analysts believe a renewed emphasis on mobile just may help invigorate an otherwise stagnant business model.

Needless to say, Yahoo missed Q2 Wall Street revenue targets and executives pointed the finger at difficulties surrounding selling premium ad inventory and ad system delays, opening the door wide for other major ad players Google and Facebook, who have invested heavily in mobile over the last several years.

So you may have heard of Flurry, a company well-known in the mobile ad realm that provides a way for publishers to sell their ad inventory or purchase traffic from apps to drive analytics and insights on consumer behavior. The company recently launched a mobile video ad platform for app publishers that creates analytics about smartphone usage. Currently the company’s technology is installed on more than half a million apps and tracks activity across more than a billon devices.

“Video has become the most effective mobile ad format for both advertisers and publishers,” stated Prashant Fuloria, chief product officer at Flurry in a press release. “We are excited to combine the market-leading Flurry Video network with the powerful VAST-enabled video capabilities of the Flurry RTB marketplace. By combining these two, and by providing superior video caching and playback capabilities, we look forward to helping more marketing dollars flow to mobile app publishers.”

Sounds good, so then what will Yahoo be doing with Flurry? For one, their combined efforts can help Yahoo better position itself against Google and Facebook.

Yahoo and Flurry “can now start to battle Facebook and Google for mobile ad dollars,” said Raj Aggarwal, CEO of app analytics firm Localytics. The key is in bringing one of the world’s largest content companies and mobile ad networks together to connect inventory and demand, he added.

“With Yahoo, we will have access to more resources to speed up the delivery of great products that can help app developers build better apps, reach the right users for their apps and more importantly, make money from ads that look great and blend into the app experience,” Flurry’s CEO and founder Simon Khalaf said in a blog post yesterday.

Yes, resources count. And in the ad business, this is what makes or breaks companies. Will be interesting to see how this quells investor concerns about Yahoo’s direction with Mayer at the helm. Things are looking up for now, with Yahoo stock prices currently going for $33.60 after hitting a three-month low last Thursday.





Richard L. Tso is a reporter for Adotas and an avid writer covering the intersection of technology and advertising, fashion and music. With over 12 years of experience in the Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations industries, Richard has held executive positions at global agencies and technology companies and is founder of the interactive communications firm Pseudosound Consulting LLC. A classical cellist and painter, he believes that sometimes sound carries more weight than words. He is a graduate of Stanford University.

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