Sovrn Completes Acquisition of U.K.-Based OnScroll, Enables European Expansion

Sovrn on Wednesday said it completed its acquisition of U.K.-­based OnScroll, which has patent-pending technology that aims to help publishers improve monetization by making ad inventory completely viewable. The supply-side platform (SSP) and exchange also announced plans to expand in the U.K. and European markets.

OnScroll products and technology will be available in Sovrn's Meridian Platform. The company plans to make the offerings available to all demand-side platforms (DSPs) and agency trading desks through existing integrations.

From a product standpoint, OnScroll’s viewability technology fills a market need. “Buyers are increasingly demanding it [viewability], and rightly so.  Advertising must have a high likelihood of being seen by an actual person," Sovrn’s CEO, Walter Knapp, said via email. "OnScroll's technology guarantees 100% viewability with an actively engaged reader.” 

Knapp said viewability measurement is reactive and done at the domain level. “Publishers create ad zones based on how they think they will be viewed, buyers  purchase them on probability, and then try to reconcile after the fact.” By contrast, he said OnScroll’s viewability technology is pro-active and only executes when a reader is actively engaged and the ad unit hits a specific viewability goal. This removes guesswork on the part of publishers and advertisers.

The OnScroll technology lets Sovrn know if and when the unit is in view so it can determine when a reader is actively engaging with the content on the page (vs. on a different tab or in a different browser window). Knapp said that this time-based engagement data offers publishers interesting insights and the ability to sell ads or display content based on engagement time.

With respect to Sovrn's U.K. and European expansion, OnScroll co­-founder Andy Evans will lead Sovrn’s team in the U.K. and Europe as managing director.  Co­-founder Babac Vafaey will assume the role of vice president of business operations for the U.K. and Europe. OnScroll has an existing base of independent publishers in the U.K.

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