Yahoo To Buy Flurry, Gaining Foothold In Booming App Tracking Market

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FlurryYahooJust a week after Yahoo’s Q2 earnings call, in which CEO Marissa Mayer said she was looking to position Yahoo as a “mobile-first company,” the M&A bug has hit again: Yahoo is acquiring mobile analytics platform and ad marketplace Flurry. Publishers sell their ad inventory through Flurry’s platform or buy traffic from applications, which also provides analytics to help advertisers track customer behavior.

The deal, first reported in Re/Code, is an interesting and necessary move for Yahoo, considering the company’s active monthly mobile user base of 450 million, a number that’s more than doubled since Mayer came on board as CEO two years ago. TechCrunch reported that Yahoo could be shelling out anywhere between $300 million and $1 billion on the acquisition.

Yahoo confirmed the news with a post on Tumblr, stating that, "By joining Yahoo, Flurry will have resources to speed up the delivery of platforms that can help developers build better apps reach the right users, and explore new revenue opportunities."

Yahoo needs to build out its customer journey tracking capabilities, a technological boost that could be served by bringing Flurry into the fold. It’s a move that Constellation Research CEO and principal analyst Ray Wang said is key to Yahoo’s future, noting that Yahoo has “underinvested in its mobile ad networks and mobile analytics” up until this point.

“The key to winning in this space is better data about not only the content side of the house, but also the devices used — Flurry brings relevancy back to the ad network,” Wang said. “While the context engines and algorithms are primitive compared to high-speed trading networks, the concepts are there, and these can also be used for the rest of Yahoo’s capabilities.”

Flurry’s CEO Simon Khalaf previously told AdExchanger that roughly 150,000 companies use Flurry. It also has relationships with about 50 demand-side partners and its technology is integrated into 540,000 applications across Android, iOS, and Windows. Flurry adds about 20,000 new application a month.

There was chatter back in February that Yahoo’s acquisition plans could include mobile ad network Millennial Media, whose App Engagement Program is similar to Flurry's "Flurry for Advertisers" service (formerly AppCircle). Both purport to help advertisers with retargeting and re-engagement by driving users to specific in-app destinations. It’s possible that Yahoo's Flurry buy could put a wrench in that plan.

More on this story as it develops.

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