Commentary

Big and Bigger News: Adobe Buys TubeMogul

Adobe said today it has a deal to acquire TubeMogul, the ad tech advertising platform, for $540 million, or $14 a share, a deal that pushes Adobe deeper and more powerfully into the online video advertising market.

The all cash offer is more than 82% higher than TubeMogul’s Wednesday close, and neatly, exactly twice the $7 per share price of its IPO in 2014.

Even as video advertising and the Internet has become less alien to marketers and programmatic has gone from novelty to staple, ad tech firms have fought for a fair shake on Wall Street. (TubeMogul’s original IPO share price goal was $11-$13 per share, Forbes reported at the time.)

But Google and Facebook, which now frets it is running of out of places to put all the advertising coming its way, are making it tough on ad tech firms.

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The acquisition allows Adobe to add a buying software platform for video advertising to its suite of products which includes software to analyze consumer interactions on Websites and on social media.

Moreover, Adobe said the acquisition creates a potentially powerful “end-to-end” advertising and data management solution for television and digital formats  that spans TV and digital formats. Right now, that’s a fragmented process

TubeMogul got into the space in 2011, when it was a lonelier place and “Luddites came out in force” doubting there was any reason for ad buying software, CEO Brett Wilson said discussing its Q3 earnings in a conference call just yesterday. (He’ll stay on, Adobe said.)

Things have changed, Luddites past and present seem to learn. TubeMogul’s Q3 revenue of $56.08 million was up 20.7% year over year, and beat estimates. Ad spend on “non-desktop” advertising rose a huge 130% year over year, Wilson reported, who also bragged about its roster of well-known clients including Lenovo, Loreal, Mondelez and  Allstate.

Adobe’s acquisition seems to be an example of a mini-trend, as larger tech firms are now acquiring other firms that help strengthen potentially soft spots in the tech cloud commerce and ad food chain.

Oracle just a few days ago closed on its acquisition of NetSuite, the software services company (Oracle’s Larry Ellison also owns a piece of it). In June, Salesforce acquired digital commerce firm Demandware.

Adobe hopes the TubeMogul addition enhances its Premiere Pro CC and Primetime solutions that will make it easier for brands to exploit online video. The acquisition provides “even more strategic value for our Adobe Marketing Cloud customers,” said Brad Rencher, executive vice president and general manager for digital marketing at Adobe, in a statement.

The combination between the two companies creates a “comprehensive platform that will help marketers always know what’s working--and act on it,” Wilson said, also in a statement.

pj@mediapost.com
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