Time Acquires Myspace Owner, Viant
The days of Myspace have come and gone but even if it seems like nobody is using it, the site is apparently large enough to be of interest to the likes of Time Inc, who just acquired the firm that owns the aged social network, Viant. Viant has actually been quite profitable in the process of developing a large ad tech business.
While the terms of this deal have not been disclosed as of yet, it is known that Time will become a majority owner of Viant, with Viant founder the Vanderhook family now taking a minority stake.
A Viant spokesperson said that Time inc still intends to keep all of Viant’s functions, running it as an independent business (instead of, say, as part of Time). However, Time has also said it plans to combine Viant’s business with some aspects of its existing business to create a big data, ad-targeting, media powerhouse. More specifically, Time says that they plan to merge its “premium content, subscriber data, and advertising inventory with Viant’s first party data and programmatic capabilities to bring substantail value to customers of both platforms.”
This premium content, then, will continue to attract approximately 150 million unique visitors every month, dispersed across more than 60 websites. This includes major consumer brands under Time Inc; brands like: People, Real Simple, InStyle, Entertainment Weekly, Southern Living, Sports Illustrated, and, of course, Time Magazine.
“This acquisition is game-changing for us,” explains Time Inc CEO 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… 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.”
In addition, Viant CEO Tim Vanderhook comments on the process: “We had been doing a capital raise, an equity round. We were looking at both private equity and strategic investors because we wanted to put more capital to work to grow the business. At the last minute we made the decision to go with Time Inc because of the benefits that a strategic brings to the table. It is a combination of premium content assets with our ad tech that brings a compelling alternative to Google and Facebook.”