Ad network VideoEgg will acquire Six Apart, owner of the MovableType and TypePad publishing platforms as well as a sizable social media ad network, and rebrand as Say Media. The combined company will boast 345 million monthly global unique users.
For VideoEgg, the new company name will emphasize its focus on social media and will dissociate it from the video ad space in the minds of media buyers.
"It pigeonholed us," said VideoEgg President Troy Young. "People thought we were a streaming media network, which we weren't. And VideoEgg, while a spirited name, didn't feel like the mature media company we wanted to be."
Six Apart CEO Chris Alden will step down when the transaction is completed in approximately 60 days, but most of the firm's other senior management will transition to roles at Say Media. Say Media's total headcount after the sale will be over 200, and its base of operations will be in San Francisco. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The main driver of the acquisition was scale in social media. Six Apart's ad network reached approximately 90 million U.S. unique users on thousands of sites in April, according to comScore. In May the company unveiled an ad product, TypePad Conversations, that uses sponsored questions to help brands leverage that audience in meaningful ways.
Of course VideoEgg will also take possession of a 10-year-old publishing platform, once the toast of the blog community. Since then its prestige has been gradually diminished by the rise of other community publishing platforms, among them WordPress, Drupal, Tumblr, Posterous, and Twitter. Young said under Say Media, the publisher tools will continue to evolve as a media platform.
The two companies share one board member and have collaborated on ad formats going back at least to summer 2009, when Six Apart began selling a VideoEgg ad format. A recent Business Insider report suggested the two companies had been pressured by investors to merge, but Troy Young denied that. He said the company had been looking at possible acquisition targets for six months.
"This was a long process of two independent companies talking about how one plus one equals three," he said.
A new website will launch on Wednesday at SayMedia.com.
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March 19, 2014