According to an unconfirmed report from Michael Arrington at TechCrunch, citing "multiple sources," Google has acquired ad optimization platform AdMeld for around $400 million.
AdMeld CEO Michael Barrett led global sales at Fox Interactive Media, Co-Founders Ben Barokas and Brian Adams held senior positions at AOL, and Chief Media Officer Jason Kelly was VP of Strategy & Revenue for Time Inc. Digital. It is this veteran leadership that the company plays up in its pitch.
"It’s been an exciting year in the display advertising business—the movement of media online and the emergence of new technologies are causing incredible growth, and we’re investing significantly to help improve display advertising for publishers, advertisers and users," Google's VP of Display Advertising, Neal Mohan said in a blog post this week. "But I believe we’re poised to make even greater advances in the years ahead. We’re at the beginning of a user-focused revolution, where people connect and respond to display ads in ways we’ve never seen before."
No mention was made of the acquisition of course, and both companies have yet to comment on the deal, but the timing is interesting.
Mohan went on to predict that by 2015, the number of display ad impressions will decrease by 25% per person, engagement rates ill increase by 50%, people will have a direct say in 25% of the ads they see, 35% of campaigns will primarily use metrics beyond clicks and conversions, 25 billion ads per day will tell people why they are seeing them, and over 40% of online Americans will name display ads as their favorite ad format.
The predictions were presented at the IAB's Innovation Days at Internet week.
Peter Kafka at All Things Digital says the AdMeld deal will draw a great deal of scrutiny from government regulators, based on the size of the deal and Google's currently strong presence in the display ad space. Sounds about right.