News Corp. offloads video ad platform Unruly to Tremor
News Corp. agreed to sell its programmatic video advertising platform Unruly to Tremor, the media company said Monday. Israel-based Tremor is a sell-side platform that publishers use to sell their ad inventory to marketers programmatically.
News Corp. is selling Unruly at a deep discount from what it paid for the venture. News Corp. purchased Unruly in 2015 for about $90 million cash plus up to $86 million contingent on performance to drive more video views to its websites. Today, however, the company offloaded its ad tech acquisition in exchange for a 6.9 percent stake in Tremor valued at roughly $20 million.
Back in 2015, News Corp. said “Unruly is a feisty and creative company with a start-up sensibility that fits perfectly with our own approach to developing business in the digital age. The acquisition will serve as a catalyst for our brands, helping extend our expertise in the digital and mobile video area.”
Those plans were likely thwarted by Google-owned YouTube and by Facebook, which continue to gobble up the majority of ad dollars from Madison Avenue, especially in the video arena. According to a June report from eMarketer, Google and Facebook captured about 57 percent of all U.S. digital ad spend in 2018.
Tremor now holds the exclusive rights to sell outstream video on some 50 News Corp. properties while also gaining access to more than 2,000 publishers that already use Unruly’s platform. It must, however, spend some $39 million over three years advertising on News Corp. websites as part of the deal.
News Corp. U.K. CEO Rebekah Brooks will also join the Tremor board.
"Unruly will benefit from Tremor's wide range of formats, including advanced TV and in-app, as well as an analytics suite and yield optimization tools,” Norm Johnston, CEO of Unruly, said in a statement Monday. “Together we'll bring the power of emotions to video advertising to drive better results for advertisers, higher levels of engagement for consumers and more revenue for publishers."