Amazon Acquires Sizmek's Ad Server, Rocks Advertising Industry

Amazon confirmed on Friday that it agreed to acquire Sizmek's ad server business and dynamic creative optimization (DCO) platform, ending months of speculation since the company declared bankruptcy in March and sold off its demand-side platform to Zeta Global in April.

“Once the deal closes, Sizmek Ad Server and Sizmek DCO will operate separately from Amazon Advertising for the time being,” Amazon Advertising stated on the company’s website.

The deal will help Amazon strengthen its position in the advertising industry, digging into Google’s and Facebook’s respective advertising businesses, experts say.  

David Jones, CEO at the brand tech group You & Mr Jones, calls the deal “very significant,” as it likely marks “the official end of the digital advertising duopoly and the start of the triopoly.”

Sizmek, the last independent ad-serving business that could pretend to be a Google challenger, will be owned by Amazon, whose digital advertising business had been experiencing meteoric growth even before this deal, Jones said.  

“On paper it gives Amazon a real superpower and, if they execute well, could become a real concern for Google,” he said. “Amazon has the scale, brand relationships, first-party data, resources and access on a totally unique level, and can plug them into the Amazon ecosystem. It becomes an enormous catalyst for growth -- both Sizmek and Amazon. If they execute well, both win.”

The ad server hosts the creative pieces for the campaigns, sells the advertising space, and reports on the performance.

Amazon will need to integrate the technology into its other platforms including attribution, which could take years, but will increase reporting capabilities.

Amazon’s acquisition of Sizmek sends a strong signal that the advertising market will make major changes in the coming years, said Hugo Loriot, U.S. managing director of 55, a European data company created by the former CEO and senior management team of Google Southern Europe. 

“You need to draw the parallel to what Google has done with Campaign Manager, and what Facebook failed to do with Atlas,” Loriot said. “It always takes time to integrate the ad server into the stack. It took Google eight years.”

The technology gives advertisers working with Amazon a method to reach additional consumers, improve targeting, self-create ads and prompt conversions from other publisher sites back to brand pages such as P&G and L’Oréal in the marketplace.

It also gives advertisers dynamic-optimization creative capabilities, as well as reporting and attribution available to all brands previously working with Sizmek.

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