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Time Inc snaps up Myspace owner Viant to be the Facebook of publishers with people-based targeting

Time Inc is making moves to acquire Myspace owner Viant that could give it access to several ad technology and media companies including Specific Media and Myspace.

Discussions are ongoing between the two parties that could pave the way for the publisher to being able to successfully close the ROI loop – converting ad spend to actual sales.

Viant calls itself a “people-based performance platform", meaning that its technologies are able to link devices back to real people rather than a cookie. It’s a position taken up by Facebook via its Atlas ad tech stack and should the deal go through, Time would be able to combine its content with Viant’s first-party data and targeting tools to encourage brands to spend their budgets across its owned properties rather than go elsewhere.

“This acquisition is game changing for us,” said Time Inc chief executive Joe Ripp. “Marketers are selecting media partners that have either data-driven capabilities or premium content; we will be able to deliver both in a single platform, and will stand apart from those that offer just one or the other. In other words, we will be able to deliver advertisers’ messages targeted to optimal audiences across all types of devices, along with the ability to measure ROI.”

The deal would help Time Inc maintain the momentum behind its digital advertising revenues following a strong performance in its latest quarter. Digital ad revenues rose 17 per cent to $15m in the three months to December, buoyed by video and programmatic sales. Around 119m multi-platform uniques were posted in the period in the US, up 22 per cent year-on-year.

Seb Joseph

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