Ad Tech Industry Continues Rapid Evolution

Some things in advertising have not changed. Marketers are still tripping over themselves to be the first to make waves on Apple’s latest product, Facebook remains a goldmine, and Google is still Google. But some things in the ad tech world have changed -- and fast.

Take the news out this morning that Ooyala has put the finishing touches on its acquisition of Videoplaza by integrating the latter’s programmatic video ad tech into its platform as an example. Nearly every component of that deal did not exist one year ago.

One year ago, Ooyala was an independent company six months removed from a $43 million round of funding. It was rebuffing imminent IPO rumors and forging ahead. Now it is a subsidiary of Telstra, a large Australian Telco.

One year ago, Videoplaza had not unveiled its programmatic ad platform. That happened in October 2014, just weeks before it was acquired by Ooyala.

Today, Videoplaza’s programmatic ad technology is being integrated into Telstra’s Ooyala.

This is consolidation. It’s happening before our very eyes.

And telcos are finding themselves front and center for much of this consolidation -- another thing that is different compared to one year ago. Telstra is hardly the only telco to get its hands on ad tech recently. The most obvious example is, of course, Verizon’s $4.4 billion acquisition of AOL. AOL’s programmatic ad tech stack was a key bargaining chip in the negotiations between those two companies.

Earlier this year, RTBlog highlighted the group of telcos that have been getting involved int he ad tech game, including Telstra (via Ooyala’s purchase of Videoplaza), SingTel (via Amobee’s acquisitions of Gradient X and Adconion Direct), and Axiata Group Berhad (via its joint venture with Adknowledge, which led to the creation of Adknowledge Asia).

This article has been updated to reflect that Axiata did not acquire Adknowledge. Rather, the telco entered a joint venture with Acknowledge to launch Adknowledge Asia, a completely separate company from Adknowledge, Inc.

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