Yahoo Acquires Programmatic Video Ad Platform BrightRoll for $640 Million All-Cash Transaction

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Today Yahoo announced a definitive agreement for Yahoo to acquire the programmatic video advertising platform BrightRoll. Yahoo is acquiring BrightRoll for approximately $640 million in cash. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions.

“Video, along with mobile, social, and native, is driving a surge in digital advertising. Here at Yahoo, video is one of the largest growth opportunities, and BrightRoll is a terrific, strategic and financially compelling fit for our video advertising business,” said Marissa Mayer, Yahoo CEO. “As with every acquisition, we have been extremely thoughtful about our approach to the video advertising space. This acquisition will accelerate the growth of both companies – we can help BrightRoll scale to even more advertisers globally and they can bring their tremendous platform offering to Yahoo’s advertisers. The combination builds positive momentum for Yahoo’s broader display advertising business in 2015.”

The transaction will combine Yahoo’s premium desktop and mobile video advertising inventory with BrightRoll’s programmatic video platform and publisher relationships to bring substantial value to advertisers on both platforms. BrightRoll is a large, growing and profitable business with net revenues expected to exceed $100 million this year. Yahoo expects the transaction to enhance its EBITDA.

The acquisition aims to  accelerate Yahoo’s strategy, which is focused on search, communications, and digital content through growth in mobile, social, native, and video advertising. Acquiring BrightRoll is set to dramatically strengthen Yahoo’s video advertising platform, making it the largest in the United States.

“We believe the next step for programmatic video advertising as an industry is to extend and standardize globally, make cross-device buying simple and measurable, and complement and integrate with TV,” said Tod Sacerdoti, BrightRoll CEO and Founder. “We are excited to join Yahoo to materially advance efforts in each of these areas. We’re still in the early innings as an industry, and together, BrightRoll and Yahoo are committed to the vision of helping grow the entire video advertising ecosystem.”

Online video advertising is increasingly fragmented across thousands, if not millions, of sites and mobile apps. More so than with traditional broadcast television, advertisers are seeking ways to buy online video advertising at scale across many sites in fewer, simpler transactions. BrightRoll provides an elegant solution, aggregating high-quality publishers together into a unified network and utilizing programmatic advertising and aggregation to allow real-time buying on the largest set of online video advertising inventory available. BrightRoll’s approach not only benefits advertisers and publishers, but also improves experiences for consumers, through better quality, more relevant advertisements.

BrightRoll is the industry’s leading programmatic video advertising platform for reaching audiences across desktop, mobile and connected TV.

  • BrightRoll powers digital video advertising for the world’s largest brands and agencies, including 87 of the AdAge Top 100 US advertisers, all of the top 15 advertising agencies, and all 10 of the leading demand-side platforms
  • BrightRoll served more video ads and reached more consumers in the US in 2014 than any other platform, according to comScore
  • Tens of thousands of sites and mobile apps send approximately two billion requests per day to BrightRoll to monetize the inventory they worked hard to create

Following the closing of the acquisition, expected in Q1 2015, BrightRoll will continue to offer its current suite of industry-leading products and services. With Yahoo’s additional investment and global support, BrightRoll’s platform and advertising solutions will continue to improve and expand. BrightRoll will retain their talented team of approximately 400 employees, all of whom will remain completely focused on digital video advertising.

The acquisition does shake up things in the digital space, but

Andrew Bloom, Senior Vice President Strategic Business Development at Sizmek, says that with Brightroll now in their arsenal, Yahoo has a great opportunity innovate the video market. Bloom says that for Yahoo video presents a great opportunity to combine their historical strength in display and new found focus in mobile and propel their display advertising business forward on the video + mobile train. For Brightroll, Yahoo offers the credibility of a global demand channel and access to first party data across devices that should offer advertisers the opportunity to engage audiences at TV like scale with digital video.

“Increasingly the battle will move from open auction to private deals, and the combination of Yahoo and Brightroll together should see more premium inventory flowing into the Brightroll stack,” said Bloom. “But let’s face it, there is lots of competition out there with newly minted behemoths like Facebook+Liverail and more established players like AOL and Google. On the demand side it’s going to be fascinating to see if Yahoo preserves Brightoll DSP’s open access to all inventory or if Yahoo will leverage its inventory and data to create a preference for Yahoo inventory bought through the Brightroll ad stack.”

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