It’s almost 2020! But before the ball drops and you start putting those New Year resolutions into practice, 2019 warrants some reflection.
Instead of getting personal, let’s look at the big picture of media and ad tech. It’s been a big year for mergers and acquisitions across the board; 2019 was the year Disney became an even bigger behemoth, Viacom and CBS kissed and made up, and Nexstar Media Group became the largest local TV broadcaster.
This is part two of our ten notable deals from 2019, as covered by MediaRadar.
Amazon Moved the Needle With Ad Tech
Amazon moved quickly on Sizmek, which declared bankruptcy earlier this year. Amazon bought the ad tech company for $30 million — pocket change for the FAANG company. But the deal still had some big implications for ad tech. Here’s what we wrote back in July:
“Owning Sizmek moves Amazon closer to challenging Google and Facebook’s apparent duopoly in programmatic digital advertising. Owning Sizmek’s Ad Server also makes it easier for Amazon customers to utilize the full stack of ad options.”
Roku Makes a Different Ad Tech Investment With DataXu
Roku, the OTT company, acquired DSP DataXu for $150 million. “Dataxu’s contributions are expected to accelerate Roku’s ad tech roadmap and ability to serve a wide array of advertisers,” we wrote of the acquisition. As part of the announcement, one Roku SVP said that the move is designed to progress Roku toward buy-side tools.
Fox Moved Beyond Media
Last year, Fox Corp made an announcement that left some scratching their heads: they were acquiring a 67 percent stake in Credible Labs, an online loan service provider, for $265 million. The deal went through in October.
The move may seem a bit strange, but is designed to position Fox to have a more direct relationship with consumers. After selling a huge chunk of its business to Disney, Fox is a smaller media company focused on local networks. Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch noted that the company is planning to promote Credible through their core brands such as Fox Business and Fox Television Stations.
Meredith Corporation Sold Sports Illustrated IP
Publisher Meredith Corporation officially sold its Sports Illustrated brand to Authentic Brands Group for an estimated $110 million halfway through this year. The deal was unique, since Meredith will continue publishing the magazine:
“According to the terms of the deal, Meredith will still publish Sports Illustrated but will cede marketing, distribution and licensing to Authentic Brands. The move effectively transfers ownership of the intellectual property behind the iconic magazine.”
Nexstar Media Became the Biggest Local Broadcaster
In September, the FCC approved Nexstar Media Group’s takeover of Tribune Media, valued at $7.2 billion in total.
The Nexstar press release details just how big of a change this deal signifies:
“The combination creates the nation’s largest pure-play local broadcast television and digital media company, with national coverage and reach to approximately 39% of U.S. television households. Nexstar will benefit from increased operational, geographic and economic diversity and scale as a result of Tribune Media’s diverse portfolio of media assets including owned or operated broadcast television stations in major U.S. markets; compelling local news and entertainment content; significant broadcast distribution; ownership of WGN America, a growing national general entertainment cable network; a 31.3% ownership stake in TV Food Network, a top tier cable asset; and equity holdings in several digital media businesses.”