BuzzFeed Goes Public And Acquires Complex; Microsoft Bringing Android Apps To Windows

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Buzz Words

Talk about a potential media juggernaut. BuzzFeed announced Thursday that it has acquired Complex Networks and went public via a special purpose acquisition corporation (SPAC). Read the release. BuzzFeed’s merger with Complex, a style, culture and music publisher, is part of a digital media consolidation strategy that includes future acquisition deals. The new publishing group aims to bring additional “independent editorial” brands into the fold and then ramp up distribution across BuzzFeed’s network. In a BuzzFeed post, founder and CEO Jonah Peretti said that going public gives BuzzFeed the resources it needs to invest in future growth. And that the combined company expects to earn more than half a billion this year. BuzzFeed’s IPO is expected to put the company’s value at $1.5 billion, according to CNBC. [Related in AdExchanger: How The SPAC Boom Can Reshape The Digital Media IPO]

Windows Of Opportunity

Microsoft announced that it’s bringing Android apps to Windows, with an assist from Amazon – the apps can be downloaded to Windows Apps, the Microsoft app store, via the Amazon Appstore, which carries Android apps. Microsoft doesn’t have a huge developer ecosystem like Android or iOS, so it makes sense to embrace Android to fill out its app store. But it’s also a cheeky wink at Apple, which allows no outside apps on its platform. The Verge executive editor Dieter Bohn also tweeted that Windows will allow developers to use their own payment processor within the apps, and that if they choose to use an outside provider Microsoft will take a 0% cut. Which is a not-so-subtle call for mobile developers to build apps outside of Apple. The Verge has more.

Leaps And Bounds

It’s no secret that television ad dollars rushed into connected TV (CTV) last year and that (shocker) more money will roll in this year. CTV advertising will exceed $13 billion this year and $17 billion in 2022, according to eMarketer. And two-thirds of marketers are planning to increase their CTV ad spend by up to 20%, according to a survey of 100 agencies and advertisers by TVSquared. Read the report. Another 20% of those respondents are bullish enough on CTV that they’re upping spend by more than 20%. The main reason: incremental reach. TVSquared said that 70% of respondents like extending their reach to CTV because so many consumers can no longer be targeted on linear television. But CTV is not without its challenges, particularly when it comes to measurement and attribution, which respondents cited as the biggest barrier to adoption. TVSquared also saw a 42% uptick in the number of advertisers using programmatic CTV in the first quarter of 2021 compared to Q4 2020, a shocking jump from one quarter to the next (though marketers often try new things at the start of the year, because nobody wants to test and learn during the holiday season).

But Wait, There’s More! 

The House Judiciary Committee approved sweeping legislation to rein in Big Tech, despite lobbying efforts by Apple CEO Tim Cook and others against the bills. [WSJ]

Research by TVision found that time spent watching ad-supported streaming services (AVOD) leaped 200% in the past year, while ad-free platforms (SVOD) increased by 100%, and linear TV viewership decreased by 13%. [report]

Video ad tech and data platform JW Player raised a $100 million round to help drive product innovation, expand globally and build out its team. [release]

Zeta Global has teamed up with Dun & Bradstreet to combine the companies’ respective B2C and B2B data into a single private cloud. [release]

As Apple device owners upgrade to the new iOS and its sweeping privacy controls, more ad spend is shifting to Google Android. [Digiday]

You’re Hired

Clearwater Analytics hired Susan Ganeshan as chief marketing officer. [release]

Habu tapped Tim Norris-Wiles as managing director of EMEA. [release]

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