Another coup for Facebook: LiveRail acquisition puts it near top of the video ad heap


By Noel Young, Correspondent

July 2, 2014 | 4 min read

In a deal which puts them nearer the top of the video ad heap, Facebook has agreed to acquire LiveRail , one of the biggest video ad sellers.There was no word of the price.

Live Rail: FB moves to top of the heap

LiveRail automates the sale of video ads for publishers including major league baseball, ABC and Daily motion

Says AdAge,"Rather than negotiate deals over the phone or in person, these publishers can upload their video inventory to LiveRail's system, which solicits buyers via real-time auctions."

Publishers can also use LiveRai';s ad technology to process upfront deals without all the paperwork that can delay a campaign from airing in a timely fashion.

Brian Boland, VP-ads product marketing at Facebook, in a company blog post announcing the deal, said, "We believe that LiveRail, Facebook and the premium publishers it serves have an opportunity to make video ads better and more relevant for the hundreds of millions of people who watch digital video every month."

The acquisition puts Facebook in the same league with Google and AOL , says AdAge, atop the digital video ad food chain -- and ahead of them, at that.

Victor Milligan, CMO, Nexage, the largest independent mobile advertising exchange, commmented , "The acquisition affirms what we know in mobile advertising – that video, and rich media for that matter – are core to brands embracing mobile.

"Right now, we are seeing 516% annual video growth on our exchange - and that growth rate is picking up pace. Without doubt, they will soon represent the majority creative.”

In May, LiveRail served video ads to 37.2% of people in the U.S., according to ComScore. That made it America's third-largest video ad seller, behind BrightRoll and Specific Media and in front of AOL andGoogle.

Facebook plans to keep LiveRail's existing business of selling ads for non-Facebook publishers in operation, a Facebook spokesman said. He declined to comment on any plans to sell Facebook's own video ad inventory through LiveRail.

U.S. advertisers according to estimates will spend $5.96 billion on digital video advertising this yea.

Both Google and AOL have spent the past year building their video ad businesses. Last summer AOL acquired video ad exchange, which propelled the portal to become one of the top video ad sellers and evenoverthrow Google. And in June Google introduced a new video-only ad exchange exclusively for premium advertisers to sell their video inventory.

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