Old school rich media vendor is acquired for $110 million.
Content delivery firm Limelight Networks will acquire rich media ad pioneer EyeWonder, the companies said this morning. The sale price is $110 million, with the deal expected to close in the first half of next year.
For Tempe, AZ-based Limelight, whose platform is aimed at publishers, the acquisition marks the first time the company will serve the advertiser ecosystem on a large scale. Atlanta-based EyeWonder has existing relationships with dozens of marketers and agencies.
As important as EyeWonder's client relationships is the company's robust platform, which processes and tracks billions of ads a month.
"This is a business where relationships matter and technology scale matters," said Paul Alfieri, VP of marketing and communications at Limelight.
EyeWonder was among the first providers of video advertising solutions on the Internet, enabling rich media and video banners as early as 1999. In the mid-'00s it struggled as agencies and consumers embraced Flash-based video; EyeWonder -- dependent on Sun's Java language -- lost share to rivals like DoubleClick and PointRoll. In 2005 EyeWonder ditched Java and switched to Flash, considerably later than its main competitors.
The acquisition will be Limelight's second purchase of a digital ad company in the last year. In May it bought Kiptronic, a mobile ad provider serving media companies.
Indeed, mobile is a second major focus for Limelight. Earlier this year the company supported mobile content delivery for CBS's coverage of the NCAA men's college basketball tournament. The majority of its business today involves content delivery to Web browsers.
"If you look at the growth areas in the online ecosystem, rich media advertising is right up there, and mobile is the other one," said Alfieri. "We're now well positioned in both of those things as those markets grow."
Limelight intends to keep the EyeWonder brand, Alfieri said. He added Limelight has no plans to sell online or mobile ads, as might be expected of a company positioned between ad sellers and buyers. "We're both platform companies," he said. "We build scalable open architectures to allow our customers to reap the benefits."
Madison Alley Global Ventures advised EyeWonder in the transaction.
Want to learn more? Join us at ClickZ Live New York 2015
[ALERT] Super Saver Rates Expire January 30. With over 15 years of experience delivering industry leading events, ClickZ Live brings together over 50 expert speakers to deliver an action-packed, educationally-focused agenda covering all aspects of digital marketing. Quick! - Register today to secure your place at the best rate.
Until March 2012, Zach Rodgers was managing editor of ClickZ's award-winning coverage of news and trends in digital marketing. He reported on the rise of web companies, data markets, ad technologies, and government Internet policy, among other subjects.
Singapore, 5-6 March
Bangkok, 17-18 March
Hong Kong, April 2015
Google My Business Listings Demystified
To help brands control how they appear online, Google has developed a new offering: Google My Business Locations. This whitepaper helps marketers understand how to use this powerful new tool.
5 Ways to Personalize Beyond the Subject Line
82 percent of shoppers say they would buy more items from a brand if the emails they sent were more personalized. This white paper offer five tactics that will personalize your email beyond the subject line and drive real business growth.