Millennial Buys Mobile Analytics Firm TapMetrics

Paul Palmieiri

Mobile ad network Millennial Media has acquired San Francisco-based mobile analytics firm TapMetrics to bolster its application-tracking capability, the companies announced Tuesday. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Through the acquisition, Millennial says it will give developers the ability to keep track of key performance metrics, sales and crash reports across mobile platforms like the iPhone and Google's Android in a unified dashboard. TapMetrics' system also integrates buzz reporting on apps and app reviews.

"This is an app analytics suite. We didn't have one," says Millennial CEO Paul Palmieri. "The idea here is to provide developers even more value than we do. Through TapMetrics, we can offer business intelligence on apps within one console in which we already provide ad mediation and monetization."



Palmieri didn't say what proportion of Millennial's business is derived from in-app advertising compared to the mobile Web, but stressed that working closely with developers has long been an important company goal.

With Google bidding $750 million for rival ad network AdMob and Apple buying Quattro Wireless for a reported $247 million, Millennial is also striving to better compete as an independent company against major tech players entering the mobile ad space. And with Millennial rumored to be an acquisition target itself, the company at the same time is making itself more attractive to would-be buyers through the TapMetrics deal.

Palmieri, however, downplayed such strategic maneuvering. "We're committed to a path that says we're going to be very successful as an independent company, if that's the path we take," he says. "We don't do things to position ourselves one way or another."

With a 12% share of the $287 mobile ad market in 2009, Millennial would be second only to the 24% share of a combined Google/AdMob entity, according to an estimate by market research firm IDC. That makes it a potentially attractive target for another big Web player like Microsoft or Yahoo aiming to keep pace with Google and Apple.

Millennial did acknowledge that the TapMetrics acquisition is part of a broader growth strategy following its closing of an additional $16 million in venture capital funding in November. To that end, Palmieri suggested the company's next move may be outside the U.S. "For us to acquire share in different geographies would be a strongly considered category of acquisition we would look at," he says, mentioning Asia and Latin America as possible regions for expansion.

Buoying the company's confidence is the rapid growth of mobile advertising in the last year. Millennial on Tuesday also released data showing its revenue from brand advertisers increased 756% in 2009 and average deal size increased 353% over 2008. It also said impressions from outside the U.S. had more than doubled, mainly because of increased traffic in Europe.

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