Taboola Goes Public; Budweiser's Big First-Party Data Push

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Taboola Roll Call

Taboola began trading on the Nasdaq on Wednesday. It raised more than $500 million with the IPO, and reported a net income of $18 million on total revenue of $303 million in Q1, CNBC reports. “I think of Taboola as a search engine but in reverse,” said CEO Adam Singolda. “Taboola is providing them with recommendations for content and things they might like but just never knew existed.” Though Taboola is the latest of many ad tech IPOs, its content recommendation rival Outbrain filed its S1, the necessary step for an IPO. Outbrain netted almost $11 million on $228 million in total revenue this quarter. And Outbrain had a different way of framing what it calls the “contrarian thesis” of content recommendation: unlike other ad tech and publisher monetization companies, it is devoted to the user. If one link is more likely to earn a click, it wins the spot even if it’s outbid by another advertiser. 

Beer For Data

Budweiser’s Independence Day marketing push this year is a throwback to an old summer blockbuster, the eponymous “Independence Day,” but it’s also a sign of what’s to come from big consumer brands. That is, it’s a major first-party data collection effort. Budweiser is giving a $5 coupon for beer (“a round on us”) to people who sign up for an account at MyCooler.com, a Budweiser promo site, and upload a photo of their “favorite place to grab a beer,” according to the release. Budweiser is also giving away $10,000 total to contestants who follow Budweiser on its social media channels and respond to a post on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with #GoFourthAmerica and #Sweepstakes. And, they must include their Venmo handle for a chance to win.

Now Serving

More and more ad tech companies are buying their way into connected TV (CTV) these days (Magnite picking up SpotX, or LiveRamp picking up Data Plus Math). The latest example comes from the Paris-based SSP and ad server platform Smart AdServer, which announced plans to acquire DynAdmic, according to Business Insider. DynAdmic is a digital video ad company known for contextual targeting capabilities and categorizing CTV inventory. Smart AdServer, which was acquired by a private equity company in 2015, hopes the deal will fuel its growth in the United States, where it will have to take on competitors like Xandr, FreeWheel and Google. 

But Wait, There’s More!  

System1 will go public via SPAC at anexpected valuation of $1.4 billion. The company owns a digital media portfolio that includes CarsGenius, HowStuffWorks and MapQuest. [Bloomberg]

Facebook filed a lawsuit against California-based marketing firm N&J USA Incorporated and several individuals in Vietnam for an alleged online ad scam. (Reuters)

Amazon’s proposed acquisition of MGM raised eyebrows among lawmakers, including Senator Elizabeth Warren, who’s pressing the FTC to investigate antitrust concerns. [The Verge]

Speaking of lawmakers, Senator Ron Wyden is working on a bill that would restrict the flow of data from American ad tech companies to foreign partners (aka adversaries). [Digiday]

Google will only run financial ads in the UK that are verified by the country’s financial regulatory agency, due to search and display ad scams. [TechCrunch]

You’re Hired

ScienceMagic hired Hannah Matthews as brand chief. [Campaign]

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