Kantar Media, part of WPP, has agreed to acquire the audio watermarking unit of Civolution, which the firm said would strengthen its audience measurement technologies and open up new opportunities around second-screen activation. The acquisition is expected to close by the end of 2014. Terms were not disclosed.
The unit’s technology allows second-screen devices, such as tablets and smartphones, to automatically sync to TV content through watermark detection. And the watermarking technology identifies viewing of content across TV, tablet and mobile screens.
The unit will continue to be led by Jean-Michel Masson under the Kantar umbrella. Its technology is licensed to hundreds of broadcasters worldwide.
"We have long admired the expertise and skills of Jean-Michel and his team." commented Richard Asquith, global CEO, Kantar Media Audiences. "In joining Kantar Media they will strengthen our suite of technology to measure audiences for content across all devices in all formats. Broadcasters, agencies and advertisers can track viewing to their content across TV, tablet and mobile screens, and benefit from our ability to deliver accurate audience measurement as the media ecosystem continues to evolve."
Masson noted that the companies already have a working relationship, while the acquisition will provide his team access to “the wider market across Kantar Media's measurement footprint."The acquired business is based in Rennes, France and is recognized as a world leader in audio watermarking technology, according to Kantar.