Mediaocean Divests Planning System To SMI, SQAD Parent Guideline

In a move that realigns Madison Avenue’s supply chain for media-planning software and systems, Mediaocean has sold its Lumina media-planning software to PC Dreamscape, the portfolio company backed by private equity firm GTCR that previously acquired ad spending and costs databases SQAD and Standard Media Index (SMI).

In a related move, PC Dreamscape said it is rebranding itself as Guideline, and that it has combined SQAD and SMI, which will be integrated with Lumina.

“We’re building a best-in-breed data solution,” Guideline CEO Scott Knoll tells MediaPost, adding, “We’re taking the best parts of each company, and we’re well on our way to achieving that vision.”

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, but Mediaocean CEO described Lumina’s sale to Guideline as “forming a long-term partnership” that strengthens both companies.



Mediaocean already listed SQAD among its “data partners,” and SMI was founded on the basis of pooling big agency media-buying data directly form Mediaocean’s databases, so they have long been integrated on that basis.

While Mediaocean has not spoken much about the role of Lumina or its integration into its systems, in 2018 Wise previously described it as part of a move to diversify Mediaocean’s dependance on ad agencies as a source of its revenues and to expand into more direct relationships servicing marketers.

“Whereas our business used to be 90% ad agencies, we are now selling direct to CMOs on a planning workflow solution called Lumina,” Wise told Beet.TV at the time.

Prior to its sale to Guideline, Mediaocean described it as, “The only planning solution directly integrated with media buying and finance.”

The product appears to have its roots in Mediaocean’s 2016 acquisition of cloud-based media-planning software developer ColSpace. Terms of that deal were not disclosed, but ColSpace Founder and CEO Matt Greenhouse joined Mediaocean and was listed as Lumina’s founder and general manager until he left last year to become Chief Product Officer of Mediaocean rival Hudson MX.

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