Definition 6, a 15-year-old Atlanta-based digital-marketing agency, has acquired Synaptic Digital for $25 million in cash and stock.
Synaptic Digital owns TheNewsMarket.com, which organizations such as the U.S. State Department and UNICEF and companies such as Kia Motors use to make their videos available for download to media outlets. The company also produces video content, distributes interactive press releases for PR firms, and makes software that companies such as Intel use to host their company's online multimedia newsrooms.
So how is this a fit? Definition 6 CEO Michael Kogon said his agency has had success getting so-called "earned media" for its clients on blogs and social networks. But TheNewsMarket.com and other Synaptic products will now let Definition 6 distribute the video content it creates for brands to thousands of what he referred to as "true journalists" or mainstream news outlets.
"When we look at the volume of [video] content brands are now producing and the tech prowess needed, we started seeing the need to enhance our capabilities," he said. He said the acquisition will also allow the agency to ramp up the amount of video content it produces for clients, something that brands are asking for as more and more think of themselves as publishers to a certain extent.
On the other side, Synaptic Digital CEO Nick Abramovich said his company was looking for a partner to help it expand its video creation beyond news-related topics and its distribution beyond media outlets to get directly in front of consumers. He also hinted that the some of the company's investors were pushing for a return on their investments. "You know the venture community," he said, when asked if there was investor pressure to find a buyer. "The Series A was raised in 2002." Synaptic had raised $25 million, he said.
In 2010, Definition 6 was the recipient of Ad Age 's Small Agency Campaign of the Year for "Happiness Machine," a viral video it produced for Coca-Cola. More recently, the company created a Facebook app for HBO's "True Blood."
The combined company will have a little over 200 employees.