MySpace Owners Say Their Ad-Tech is Ahead of Facebook's

Longtime Ad-Tech Entrepreneurs Launch New Platform Reliant on Registration Data

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Tim and Chris Vanderhook
Tim and Chris Vanderhook

Tim and Chris Vanderhook, the brothers who bought MySpace in June 2011, are introducing a new ad-tech platform, pitching the same "real people" targeting that is core to Facebook's ad offering. And they say their tech is better.

"I feel like they're coming after us in ad-technology," said Tim Vanderhook, CEO of MySpace parent company Viant, in an interview alongside his brother, Viant COO Chris Vanderhook. Mr. Vanderhook dismissed a suggestion that MySpace is the one doing the chasing.

"They view advertising as a necessary component to further their business," Mr. Vanderhook said of Facebook. "We view advertising as our core business. This is what we've done for 15 years."

Facebook, of course, is far bigger than Viant, and MySpace is best known for plunging from its position as social media's top platform. But what's common between the two is a wealth of registration data, which can be used to tie user identity across devices and help advertisers target based on a more concrete identifier than a cookie, hence the "real people" pitch.

Both Viant and Facebook are building ad-tech systems reliant on registration data. Facebook is putting that data to use in the Atlas ad server, which it relaunched in September. Viant is getting in the same game with the launch of the Viant Advertising Cloud, which it introduced today.

The key to the product is what Viant calls an identity management platform which will incorporate MySpace's registration data, along with registration data from third parties to better personalize targeting and connect digital ad exposure to offline sales.

Viant already owns a set of ad-tech companies, including Specific Media and Vindico so it's not new to the ad-tech game.

"Now, you can really do targeted advertising to real people and that's a big differentiator versus the anonymous advertising approach today," said Mr. Vanderhook about the new product.

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