Last year, Time Inc bought itself in to the ad-tech ecosystem, by acquiring ad data outfit Viant. Now Viant is making an acquisition of its own.

Earlier this week, the company announced it is buying Waltham, MA-based Adelphic, a six-year-old demand-side platform for ad buyers.

But why? In this video interview with Beet.TV, Viant chief revenue officer Jeff Collins says Viant made the buy to move ad-tech in to the software-as-a-service realm.

“One of the things we had heard from a lot of different marketers is that they want to be abel to extend … not just through a managed service but also through a self-service interface,” Collins says. “That’s really why we acquired Adelphic – Adelphic adds that self-service layer we’ve been looking for.”

The move from managed service to self-service is an emerging trend in ad-tech right now. Venture investment is turning away from business models where revenue is linked to ad spend itself, as VCs prefer the certainty of guaranteed recurring revenue and the efficiency of empowering customers to do the heavy lifting some ad-tech providers do behind the scenes.

Pleasing investors is not necessarily a problem Viant has. It was acquired by Time Inc in 2016 and is now helping the publisher grow digital revenue, which, last quarter, grew by 63% versus the prior year, Collins observes. But the trend is taking place nonetheless.

We haven’t focused as much attention on self-service media execution,” Collins adds. “And that’s why we went out and acquired Adelphic. There’s a lot of DSPs in the marketplace – we took a look at a lot.”

So, having decided to buy in to the space, how did Viant make the specific decision in Adelphic’s favor? Collins gives two reasons:

  1. “It’s great tech. We’ve heard from a lot of clients that they have an incredible UI. The tech team is going to remain on.”
  2. “They’re mobile-first – as opposed to most DSPs that were borne in the age of cookies. That’s really important right now.”
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