Sizmek sells Peer39 to group of industry veterans

05/08/2019

Ad platform Sizmek has sold its proprietary contextual bidding technology Peer39 to a group of advertising industry veterans.

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The acquisition will see Peer39 become an independent company, with Mario Diez at the helm as CEO, and Alex White as COO.

With the US advertising revenues surpassing $100bn in 2018 and data privacy at the top of the news agenda, Peer39 will uniquely deliver highly contextual and personalised advertising, without compromising users’ personal data.

The Peer39 acquisition has been in negotiations alongside and completely separate from Amazon’s purchase of Sizmek’s ad server and DCO product, which was announced on May 31. The companies did not disclose deal terms.

Amid regulatory and technology shifts in the industry, contextual data is perhaps more important than ever for advertisers and agencies leveraging programmatic media buying. This segment of the data market is likely to grow steadily in coming years, and companies like Peer39 are well positioned to capitalise on that increased interest.

“For years, those of us who have been selling different kinds of targeting and creative, especially in programmatic, have regarded Peer39 as an underutilised asset with a ton of potential,” said Diez. “Contextual targeting is what advertising media has always been designed around, capitalising on users’ self-selected, contextual interest, and less on their profile or behaviour.”

Peer39 will continue providing the intelligence that helps advertisers understand, target, and safely deliver advertising with the highest levels of contextual relevance. The company is committed to continuing the great relationships it maintained with brands, agencies and tech platforms, and will look to serve as a vital component of a thriving, independent advertising technology ecosystem.

U.S. internet advertising revenues topped $100 billion in 2018, according to the IAB, as advertisers continued to look to reach consumers in engaging digital environments. As increased regulation and privacy tools enter the advertising landscape, tools like third-party behavioural audience data and tactics like retargeting will become more difficult. As these global trends continue, advertisers will increasingly turn to page environment intelligence to deliver targeted messages.

Regulation like GDPR has significantly limited the amount of data that advertisers can access, and clients are increasingly relying on first-party data. Charlie Fiordalis, regional managing partner at ad agency Mediacom, told Business Insider that, in some cases, advertisers initially lost up to 80% of the data they had access to shortly after the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation rolled out last year.

"It pushes us toward a place where we do a lot more contextual alignment," said Mr. Fiordalis.

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