Media/Marketing Deals Slow In Q1

Media and marketing mergers and acquisitions deals slowed down in the first quarter versus the same time period a year ago. They were also down compared to most of 2016.

Total deal volume was $23 billion for some 757 deals, according to investment banker Petsky Prunier. This was lower than the $32.9 billion of a year ago in the first quarter, which had 796 deals.

There were 766 deals in the second quarter of 2016 valued at $89.2 billion -- with Microsoft's $26.2 billion deal to buy LinkedIn a big one during that period. The third quarter of 2016 had 775 deals totaling $49.5 billion. The last quarter of 2016 -- at $34.7 billion in total dollar volume -- totaled 700 for the number of deals announced.

Big deal-makers in the first quarter of this year included WPP Group, who made eight deals, Live Nation with five and Comcast Corp. and Dentsu, each with four.

Digital media/commerce deals represented the bulk of first-quarter deals, totaling some $11.2 billion. There was a 15% increase in the number of deals made versus the fourth quarter -- although it was down 23% in total dollar volume.

Marketing technology, the second-biggest category, was at $4.9 billion -- down 9% in total transactions versus the previous period and 53% lower in total dollar volume.

Traditional media was at $4.1 billion -- growing in both the number of transactions (13%) and dollar volume (16%) from the fourth quarter.

Digital advertising deal-making was at $1.9 billion -- down 46% in dollar volume from the fourth quarter and up 19% in the total number of deals.

The agency and marketing services category came in at $1.0 billion, gaining 32% in total deals and down 63% in dollar volume.

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