Mediaocean, one of the major media-buying processing system providers used by Madison Avenue, has agreed to acquire Flashtalking, an innovative independent digital ad server provider.
Terms of the deal, announced this morning, were not disclosed, but the Wall Street Journal reported private equity-backed Mediaocean will pay $500 million for Flashtalking, and is planning to take the combined company public next year.
Mediaocean was created in 2011 when private equity-backed MediaBank merged with Donovan Data Systems, Madison Avenue’s main media-buying processing provider since it was formed in the 1960s by founder Michael Donovan.
The merger followed a period of aggressive competition in which both companies sought to develop new technology and interfaces for planning, buying and posting digital media that didn’t work as efficiently in the ad industry’s older legacy systems.
Since that merger, the complexity of the digital media-buying marketplace has only grown, and many processes have been fragmented into a host of new directions, especially from some of the big digital media platforms “self-serve” media-buying interfaces themselves.
Mediaocean has also faced a new challenge from another aggressive startup, Hudson MX, which is backed by a range of industry investors, including Ascential plc. And like MediaBank before it, Hudson MX has been lauded for its flexibility and innovative approach to enabling advertisers and agencies ot manage buys based on their needs, not on the way legacy systems were originally built.
Flashtalking, a privately-held company founded by former Madison Avenue digital media pioneer John Nardone, was initially conceived as an independent ad server, but has since invested in technology enabling advertisers, agencies and publishers to better understand and analyze the attribution of digital advertising.