When it comes to making money on online video, content is still supposed to be king. But Baltimore company Videology is betting that power is shifting back to the publisher.
Videology, started by Advertising.com founders Scott and Adam Ferber in 2008, has just acquired Austin-based mobile data management startup Collider Media for an undisclosed sum. It is the company’s first acquisition. Collider helps track users across devices, allow publishers to deliver highly targeted advertising to users regardless of whether they’re on PCs, smartphones, or tablets (and, eventually, smart TVs).
CEO Scott Ferber told AdExchanger that the key issue for advertising tied to digital content is who controls the data. “[The] ability to see the audience and understand them on every touchpoint that they experience the content is something that advertisers have always wanted,” Ferber said. “And with all these devices and digital assets, the publishers have the data and the power is shifting back to them.”
The ability to target users across devices negates the need for user identification codes, Ferber said. “That’s why the focus will shift to the supply side, and that’s why we did this deal.”
On its website, Collider says it allows demographic, behavioral, and geographic targeting, as well as providing services to enhance data and further refine targeting. It’s unclear how the technology works, but it doesn’t sound too far removed from Silicon Valley-based Drawbridge, which involves statistical triangulation on a massive scale. Collider will continue to operate independently and will retain its name and executive staff.
Videology was also interested in Collider for its patent-pending “Vault” technology, which helps protect publisher data from third parties, according to AdExchanger. “In addition to making sure that the data is anonymous, each publisher still gets to keep its own data with Collider’s system,” Ferber said. “If one publisher in the system knows someone, and another doesn’t, that information isn’t shared. But I can manage data that was there but never surfaced in a way that allows for large publishers to be able to create a large, targetable audience.”
Videology started life as a Hulu competitor called TidalTV but changed its name to Videology in January. The name change reflected its change in focus to build an online video ad network. At the same time, Videology also signed AOL Video as its first client, according to Baltimore Business Journal. AOL bought the Ferber brothers’ previous company, Advertising.com, in 2004 for $435 million.
Videology has raised at least $61 million of funding in three rounds, from New Enterprise Associates, Comcast Interactive Capital, and Valhalla Partners. It has offices in New York, Austin, and London, and is looking to expand into Asia.
[Hat-tip: Technically Baltimore]