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Nielsen Buys Sorenson for $11.25M, Launches Addressable Ad Solution

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Nielsen isn't just in the TV measurement business, anymore. It's now in ad sales, as well. The company announced today that it ha purchased Sorenson Media for $11.25 million in order to add that company's addressable TV ad platform to its ad tech lineup. Previous acquisition included Qterics, a connected TV software and privacy management company, and Gracenote, which makes ACR (automatic content recognition) tech that's built into millions of connected TVs and allows for real-time ad detection on any platform. The sale closed on February 15.

Addressable advertising means serving ads on a per-viewer basis, so each ad is targeted, and Nielsen sees it as the future of TV ad sales. According to Kelly Abcarian, general manager of Nielsen's new Advanced Video Advertising group, the company went after Sorenson because combining its addressable ad capabilities with Gracenote will let Nielsen bring value to the entire media chain, including ad targeting, delivery, measurement, and attribution.

"Sorenson's expertise in collection and categorization of ad inventory, ad decisioning and yield, dynamic ad replacement, data and identity management, and audience segmentation excited us most," Abcarian says.

While she isn't offering specifics on how many Sorenson employees will be retained and how many let go, Abcarian says "a number of Sorenson employees will be joining Nielsen's new Advanced Video Advertising group."

This shift to addressable advertising might seem sudden, but Abcarian says it's been in the works for five to seven years.

"Nielsen views addressability as the future of TV. And, we are focused on transforming our media measurement business and tackling the greatest challenges facing our industry today: helping make addressable TV a reality," Abcarian says. "The formation of Nielsen Advanced Video Advertising essentially brings together the talent and technology assets from our recently acquired businesses, as well as Nielsen’s leading media measurement teams, to focus solely on expanding and innovating addressable advertising for smart TV."

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