DG Buys EyeWonder, Second Ad Tech Grab This Summer

The TV ad firm that acquired veteran rich media ad tech companies Unicast and MediaMind (formerly Eyeblaster) has bought EyeWonder. EyeWonder is another old name in the rich media ad delivery sector, and has always had a focus on video. DG acquired the firm from Limelight Networks for around $66 million in cash.

Limelight, a content delivery company, appears to have lost several million dollars in the deal. When Limelight announced the purchase in 2009, it said EyeWonder would cost it $110 million.

Gal Trifon, DG chief digital director and MediaMind GM, stressed the deal would help DG build marketshare among online ad platforms and help it better compete as an alternative to Google-owned DoubleClick. “This really creates even more critical mass,” he said.

In particular, Trifon suggested the acquisition helps DG MediaMind in the German market, where EyeWonder has been a strong competitor. EyeWonder owns Chors, a German real-time bidding ad platform. Germany has a “very large consumer market and one that performed well for us,” said Trifon.

EyeWonder is expected to bring telecom and entertainment advertisers to the mix, he added.

Ultimately, DG, whose core business is producing and serving TV ads, is buying up these online ad platforms in the hopes of developing a platform that enables easy conversion from a TV spot to a interactive digital ad, and enables cross-media measurement.

In June, Trifon indicated that DG MediaMind intended to bolster its online video capabilities, in part because many online video ad buys come out of TV budgets, like the ones controlled by DG’s clients. DG’s online division, which encompasses MediaMind, Unicast, and EyeWonder, has a staff of over 700 people, according to Trifon. It is unclear whether any changes for EyeWonder’s management and employees are ahead. When asked about EyeWonder management structure, Trifon indicated that management decisions remain to be made. “This was very quick to happen,” he noted regarding the acquisition.

According to a DG press release, the company anticipates EyeWonder will generate between $36 and $37 million in revenues in the full year 2011.

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