News Corp. Injects Cash Into AppNexus As IPO Drumbeat Grows Louder

It wouldn’t be Advertising Week in New York without some real news, right? Right. And so on Wednesday, News Corp announced an investment in AppNexus, with a $10 million infusion. And with that, the ad tech giant’s IPO drumbeat just got a little louder.

Business Insiderreported that the investment comes as part of a $31 million funding round. With the cash infusion, AppNexus now finds itself part of a content kingdom. After all, News Corp. owns The Wall Street Journal, The New York Post, Fox News and other things. Could AppNexus one day take on Google’s DoubleClick, the preeminent ad-tech platform? And how about Facebook, for that matter?

And News Corp will get something from AppNexus: data and analytics tools. The data part of the equation, alone, is staggering to think about: subscriber data from readers and viewers of News Corp.-owned properties. Don’t forget that News Corp. also has a stake in the supply-side platform Rubicon Project, already a public company. Sounds like News Corp. is cobbling together an 800-lb. gorilla. Maybe.



News Corp. also said Unruly, the video ad-tech firm it acquired for $176 million last year, will develop vertical video ad formats designed especially to reach consumers’ mobile phones.

Vertical is the way to go. Further, AppNexus plans to work with Unruly on developing a vertical video ad network comprised of mobile-first content developers.

“The announcement of investment in AppNexus shows News Corp’s continuing commitment to developing digital leadership and driving digital revenues across the group,” Unruly's co-CEO Sarah Wood told RTBlog via email.

UnrulyX, the company’s viewable video supply-side platform, is already integrated with AppNexus. The vertical video marketplace will enable advertisers to implement a vertical video campaigns programmatically via private marketplace  deals. Wood said Unruly is excited to be aligning more closely with AppNexus.

AppNexus’ funding is now up to $282 million, according to the Business Insider report.

With demand-side platform The Trade Desk’s IPO on Sept. 21, AppNexus is likely to be the next ad-tech firm to go public. Can you feel the drumbeat?

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