Acquisition is the latest in an industry trend.
Ten years ago, few would have guessed that the pioneers of social publishing would wind up in the pockets of digital advertising companies. But that is just what's happened.
Last year, ad network Say Media acquired Six Apart, developer of the Movable Type blogging platform. LiveJournal was snatched up several years ago by SUP, a Russian online advertising company. And Google of course owns Blogger, an acquisition that dates to 2003.
Add to the list Ning, which has agreed to sell to Glam Media, a vertical ad network company that was founded in 2003. The deal, not yet finalized, is reportedly worth $150 million.
Ning is a white label social networking and communities platform. Founded in 2004, it is home to approximately 100,000 customized sites organized around a variety of subjects. It claims 60 million monthly unique users.
Ning will function as a new business unit within Glam Media. Ning CEO Jason Rosenthal will become EVP social media and general manager of Ning.
In a blog post addressed to users, Rosenthal expressed optimism that the merger would mean more revenue to its communities in the form of brand ad dollars. "This builds upon our goal of creating new ways to drive value and monetize the communities our customers build. We know that access to premium ad experiences has been something that many of our customers would like, and I am excited that many of them will be able to leverage Glam's strength in this area," he wrote.
Marc Andreesen, the co-founder and chairman of Ning, will take a spot on Glam's board.
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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.
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