Conde Nast Acquires CitizenNet, Expands Ad Targeting

Condé Nast has acquired social data and marketing platform CitizenNet to expand the media company’s audience targeting and data capabilities to its social platforms.

CitizenNet will be incorporated into Condé Nast’s data product “Condé Nast Spire,” which it launched last summer.

The goal of the acquisition is for Condé Nast’s advertising and marketing partners to reach the right audience at the right time, at scale and across platforms.

Condé Nast’s brands have more than 174 million followers on social media.

Fred Santarpia, chief digital officer of Condé Nast, called the acquisition "the beginning of  our investment phase," as the company responds to "rapid changes in the media and technology sector.”

Condé Nast Spire combines online behavioral data with online and offline purchase data to optimize personalized campaigns in real time. This capability will be integrated with the social-data sets and patented algorithms of CitizenNet, which uses predictive behavioral targeting through machine learning and artificial intelligence to help advertisers target new audience segments.



“The combination of Condé Nast’s deep first-party data and CitizenNet’s unique capability to target and optimize content and campaigns across our owned-and-operated properties and vast social followings, will create an industry-first platform for our advertising partners,” stated Karthic Bala, head of data strategy for Condé Nast.

The CitizenNet team will remain based in Los Angeles and continue to work with its current clients.

“This is probably the most interesting time to be in media since the dawn of the Web browser,” CitizenNet CEO Dan Benaymin wrote in a blog post. “What is content? What's an ad? What's entertainment? What is the truth?

“As consumer behaviors change, and as social networks simultaneously drive traffic and gobble up mindshare, everything that we regard as truisms in media is up for grabs. What remains constant, however, is the ability to craft a meaningful story: whether fact or fiction, quality content has never been more important,” he added.

This isn’t Condé Nast first foray into the ad tech business. Last March, the company bought Poetica, which owns a real-time content editing system.

Magazine publishers are increasingly branching out into ad tech. For example, last MayThe Washington Post launched “Fuse,” which allows mobile ads to instantly load within the current application and embedded between the content.

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