VideoAmp said it acquired automated campaign management platform Elsy, a move designed to make it easier for media buyers and advertisers to adopt measurement currencies developed by companies including VideoAmp as an alternative to Nielsen.
Ross McCray, CEO and founder of VideoAmp, told Broadcasting+Cable that the clients that are testing its currency said they needed the process of managing campaigns using non-Nielsen data automated.
After Nielsen was found to have undercounted viewing during the pandemic and lost its accreditation from the Media Rating Council, TV networks and media agencies have been seeking currencies for buying and selling advertising that are more accurate and more granular than Nielsen.
VideoAmp’s data is being tested by media agencies and programmers including Paramount and Discovery. McCray said that participants in the tests said that most of their time was spent manually inputting the new currency because their systems aren’t set up to handle it. Too little time was available for thinking about the advantages new currencies could provide.
“With this acquisition we’re doubling down on our position and saying we’re not only providing measurement, attribution and currency, but we’re also driving more of the automation for campaign management because that is going to accelerate the adoption of our measurement," McCray said.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Unlike some of the alternative measurement companies it competes with VideoAmp has long been a provider of media planning tools. “I think a lot of other companies haven’t been focusing on automation or workflow to scale, or planning. We think that’s going to help us,” he said.
VideoAmp already offers a system for managing upfront buys that McCray expects buyers to use in the upcoming upfront market. He expects Elsy’s campaign management system to be ready to handle alternative currencies when those commercials start to run in the fall.
Elsy CEO and co-founder Laurent Colard, who became senior VP of product at VideoAmp, said Elsy was set up to be measurement agnostic.
“We don't believe that a single company can necessarily own the very best measurement of everything moving forward globally,” Colard said. “And so we chose to build a platform that can plug and play and we've done that very successfully to date with a variety of measurement partners, including VideoAmp, and we intend to continue to support that because we think that choice drives Innovation.”
The Elsy platform uses predictive algorithms to plan, monitor, optimize and predict the performance of campaigns.
McCray said that the Elsy platform will be available both bundled with VideoAmp platform and data and as an independent product. “For every client that prefers to pick what they consider to be best-in-breed solutions, there’s another client that prefers the simplicity of an integrated solution. This combination allows us to support both use cases,” he said, adding that some current clients cherry pick its products, rather than using them all.
Colard said Elsy can meet VideoAmp’s timetable.
“Our platform is built for integration and we’ve integrated with many partners over the last few years,” Colard said. “We’re already pre-integrated with VideoAmp. There’s obviously a lot of work to do, but we can move fast.”
McCray said the entire Elsy team is coming to VideoAmp. McCray said the company did a remarkable job building the platform with little resources. “We’ll be investing in it,” he said. ■
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Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.