AT&T, DISH Network & WPP join forces to acquire addressable TV outfit INVIDI

AT&T, Dish Network and WPP have today (November 21) announced they are to jointly acquire INVIDI in a deal (the financial terms of which were not publicly disclosed) that will see the addressable TV outfit continue to operate independently from the US telco, pay TV network and advertising behemoth.

INVIDI was backed financially by WPP, NBCUniversal and Google

Under the terms of the deal, each of the acquirers will name representatives to INVIDI’s board of directors, with AT&T (which has its own AT&T AdWorks platform) continuing to hold a controlling interest in the venture post the conclusion of the deal.

A statement announcing the deal stated that the three will work along with the newly acquired entity to expand both its technical capabilities and client base, and that Invidi’s capabilities (which let advertisers deliver highly targeted ads to separate audience-types among mass market programming) lay within their mutual interest.

INVIDI lets advertisers deliver addressable video advertising to the target audience — on TV and across multiple distribution platforms – which can be matched to thousands of demographic or psychographic attributes, or to a custom list provided by a brand.

Commenting on the deal, Rick Welday, AT&T AdWorks, president, said: “INVIDI gives us a great opportunity to expand our addressable advertising capabilities.

“We have significantly increased revenue with targeted advertising across multiple platforms. This deal will help us accelerate growth in our addressable advertising business and explore innovation and expansion into new platforms.”

Warren Schlichting, DISH Networks, executive vice president of marketing, programming and media sales, added: “This is an opportunity to push innovation through the platform and expand the reach of addressable TV advertising, moving the advertising industry forward for brands and consumers."

Meanwhile, Irwin Gotlieb, chairman, of WPP’s media investment arm GroupM Global, said: “We were the first strategic investor back in 2007 and are retaining our position so that we can influence the addressable ecosystem for the benefit of our clients.”

Dave Downey, INVIDI’s CEO, said: “Maintaining our independence and deepening our existing relationships with AT&T, DISH and WPP is a big move for our company and our people. Our ability to increase the value of ad inventory is transforming the way video advertising is purchased and distributed.”

Early financial backers of INVIDI include Google and NBCUniversal, and speaking at The Beet.TV event hosted last week in Miami, FL, Downey announced the upcoming opening of INVIDI's operations in Brussels, Belgium, which he claimed would help Europe “leap frog'” the US when it comes to addressable TV advertising.

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