LiveRamp Acquiring Data Plus Math to Drive CTV Advertising
LiveRamp announced today that it will acquire Data Plus Math in a deal worth $150 million. LiveRamp is paying $120 million upfront in cash, as well as $30 million in stocks at later dates. The combined company will allow advertisers to reach targeted viewers on connected TV screens, then verify their ads were effective in delivering results. The deal should close in LiveRamp's fiscal second quarter.
LiveRamp creates identity solutions for advertisers, offering a neutral platform that pulls together a variety of customer data sets. Speaking to OnlineVideo.net in 2018, CEO Scott Howe explained that his company is a grid connecting data, and that it lets multiple proprietary customer data systems work together. Its IdentityLink solution assists advertisers in viewer targeting.
Data Plus Math looks at the relationship between ad exposure and real-world results, showing, for example, how often targeted ad views lead to offline sales. This isn't the first time the two companies have worked together. In late 2018, they partnered to deliver Data Plus Math's attribution and lift reporting to LiveRamp clients. At the same time, Data Plus Math licensed LiveRamp's IdentityLink service for its clients.
“On the heels of our strategic partnership announced last year, we’re incredibly excited to now be joining LiveRamp,” says John Hoctor, CEO of Data Plus Math. “TV remains the most effective way for brands to quickly reach their audience, build their brand, and drive product sales. Unfortunately, as consumer's viewing habits have evolved, TV measurement has struggled to keep up. With LiveRamp, we’re changing that.”
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Advertisers only get a bulk view of the OTT viewing audience, but to target effectively they need person-level data. That's still not available, and Nielsen gets the blame.
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The rise in connected TV ad views continues: CTV made up 44% of all streaming ad views in Q4 2018. Three months later, that figure has grown to 49%.
Addressable advertising will be coming to pay TV services in a big way, and Comcast Advertising is leading the charge.
Also, Vudu creates a massive ad targeting network using Walmart first-party data and Vice bans the blacklist (in the name of diversity).
Connected TV had a strong 2018, as viewers warmed to the idea of streaming premium on-demand programming to the biggest screen in the house.