• Data is Core to Merger Between Genesis Media and Altitude Digital

    Two video ad tech providers, Genesis Media and Altitude Digital, announced they have merged in a deal that is rooted in using data to optimize video publishers’ ad inventory. The new company combines Genesis Media’s technology to analyze publishers’ content, ads and audience with Altitude’s video supply side platform. The merged company will be called Genesis Media and be led by CEO Mark Yakanich, with Altitude’s Joe Grover becoming president and chief marketing officer.

    Mark told me in a briefing that Genesis recognized that “a shortcoming in its business was the lack of programmatic expertise and technology to unlock the full value of its attention platform.” Genesis had previously stopped its efforts to develop its own SSP technology and was more recently working with a partner. 

    Joe added that Altitude understood publishers needed a more complete offering and more ways to buy effective video inventory. Genesis’s huge investment in data was very complementary to Altitude’s SSP.  Programmatic buyers will now be able to bid on video inventory with data about quality of individual pieces of content and audience engagement.

    Joe said ultimately Genesis’s goal is to help publishers “put ads in the right environment intelligently and in a way that doesn’t hurt the user experience.”

    Mark sees the merged company as having a “unique portfolio of capabilities” that gives publishers real-time insights into their audiences’ behaviors and how video is being monetized on their sites. While there are both attention analysis and SSP competitors in the market, Mark believes only Genesis will be able to bridge the gap between data collected and actions taken in a holistic way.

    The thesis was road-tested with publishers during merger discussions and was viewed positively. Similarly, ad agencies and DSPs, which have struggled with limited well-performing inventory, told Genesis that delivering audience engagement data with high quality inventory that is operationally easy to scale was a strong value proposition.

    The companies have already begun integrating their platforms and Mark expects that a viable merged product will be available at the beginning of Q4. The merged company will double its revenue base and headcount. No layoffs are expected.