AppNexus Acquires Yieldex For $100M, Bets On Programmatic Direct

AppNexus, a large programmatic ad tech firm, on Wednesday announced that it has acquired Yieldex, a publisher monetization platform.

A source with knowledge of the deal confirmed to Real-Time Daily that the cash-and-stock deal was worth about $100 million, as initially reported by The Wall Street Journal.

Late last year, AppNexus reorganized internally to create four separate business units, including one that is focused on aiding publishers. Yieldex is known for its publisher analytics and forecasting tools.

“This deal also positions us to lead on programmatic direct -- one of the next big waves in advertising technology,” stated Brian O’Kelley, CEO of AppNexus.



“Programmatic direct is technology that allows publishers to sell inventory on a guaranteed basis to media buyers,” O’Kelley said in a video accompanying the announcement. “It allows publishers and buyers to collaborate to use all of the new audience and format options available without trying to plug that into a 50-year-old media-buying process.”

“Programmatic direct” is set to account for nearly half of all programmatic ad spend by 2016, per eMarketer estimates. But it’s not just projections at this point -- there has been a material rise in “programmatic direct,” and it’s changing the way that many marketers are transacting in the digital world.

Barry Lowenthal, president at MDC’s The Media Kitchen, told Real-Time Daily that one of the company’s financial services brand clients has taken to programmatic direct in a major may. The unnamed brand was spending none of its digital ad budget via programmatic roughly six months ago, but about 80% of their total digital ad budget is now flowing through programmatic direct offerings.

“Private marketplaces [and programmatic direct] were nascent last year,” said Lowenthal. “This is the year [they] really took off.”

Both AppNexus and Yieldex have their own programmatic direct offerings. AppNexus’ is called Twixt, and Yieldex’s, which launched one year ago, is named YieldexDirect.

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