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NetRatings to acquire DoubleClick’s @Plan

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Milpitas, Calif.--NetRatings Inc. gave its market research business a huge boost on Monday by agreeing to acquire DoubleClick's @Plan products in a cash and stock deal valued at $18.5 million.

NetRatings adds another 200 clients to its growing roster with the deal and significantly strengthens its advertising research business. The acquisition will allow it to integrate @Plan, a media planning tool, with its audience panel data as well as data provided by its recent acquisition of AdRelevance. NetRatings acquired AdRelevance from rival Jupiter Media Metrix last month in an $8.5 million deal.

"These three types of research have never been integrated under one research roof," said Sean Kaldor, VP-marketing and analytics at NetRatings. "It gives marketers and advertisers a single way to size and profile their target markets and helps them figure out how to reach them." The level of automation provided is important to the online ad industry, which needs quick, accurate data in order to plan effectively.

Meanwhile, DoubleClick has essentially shuttered Diameter, its market research division, albeit not officially. "DoubleClick has to pick and choose the businesses they want to be in, and market research is not one of them," Kaldor said.

A DoubleClick spokesman agreed, noting Diameter did not exist after the company's internal reorganization in April. "Diameter as such didn't make sense," he said. The process of divesting its market research offerings began last December, when it sold Ad Effectiveness, its analysis product, to Dynamic Logic.

As part of today's agreement, NetRatings and DoubleClick have also formed a data licensing partnership that marries @Plan and Nielsen//NetRatings research to DoubleClick's ad management services. The two companies also plan to jointly develop online reach and frequency campaign planning tools.

--Carol Krol

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