MIAMI – The great video ad-tech consolidation wave is continuing, with a twist. AT&T and DISH have announced plans to acquire addressable TV ad-tech vendor INVIDI.
But they are not doing it alone – the pair are joined in the deal by fellow acquirer WPP, the world’s largest ad agency holding group, though it is AT&T which will hold a controlling share.
New Jersey-based INVIDI helps advertisers serve household-targeted ads in to TV streams in the two minutes per hour of programming available to MVPDs. But it is also gaining traction overseas, where operators have fewer restrictions, with a launch to support Liberty Global’s Belgian broadcaster Telenet and channel owner SBS Broadcasting. The acquiring trio’s press release says INVIDI is “negotiating distribution agreements in Europe, South America and Asia”.
“Maintaining our independence and deepening our existing relationships with AT&T, DISH and WPP is a big move for our company and our people,” INVIDI CEO Dave Downey explains in the announcement, carried by The Drum. “Our ability to increase the value of ad inventory is transforming the way video advertising is purchased and distributed.”
Earlier this month, Adobe announced plans to acquire video ad-tech operator TubeMogul, in what many hope will be a wave of much-needed consolidation that makes a fragmented ecosystem more straightforward, especially on the buy side.
INVIDI seems destined to work with an increasingly well-armed AT&T AdWorks division, through the acquirers say they will leave it operating independently. INVIDI’s future will not only lay closer to the big guns acquiring it, nor just with a larger global footprint – the company is also going to space.
In this video interview with Beet.TV, recorded at last week’s Beet Retreat, CEO Downey says the company is launching technology called “satellite switching” – using low-orbit satellites to offer broadcasters multiple channel streams of linear ads in such a way, when substituted during commercial breaks, could perform something like addressable advertising.
“If it was able to be launched in North America, it would be a great caveat to introducing national addressability,” Downey said. “If you were to target the four or five broadcast networks, this may be an ability to get to another 25 to 30 million homes.”
This interview was conducted at Beet Retreat 2016: The Transformation of Television Advertising, an executive retreat presented by Videology with AT&T AdWorks and the 605. Please find more videos from the event here.