It’s a rough time to be in the clickstream data analytics biz.
On Tuesday, Connexity-owned Hitwise announced that it would cease US operations.
The closure is “due to events outside of our control,” Hitwise said on its homepage. “This is a very sad time for us at Hitwise after 20 years of operations providing first-to-market online measurement.”
Hitwise and Connexity did not respond to a request for comment.
The news shouldn’t come as a huge surprise to Hitwise clients. The company informed customers in early February that it was pausing its daily, weekly and monthly metrics updates, noting at the time that its “primary clickstream data partner is no longer in a position to provide Hitwise with data” as of Jan. 28, 2020.
The week prior, one of Hitwise’s partners, marketing analytics firm Jumpshot, was shuttered by parent company Avast, a cybersecurity firm, following an investigation into Jumpshot’s privacy practices.
It’s unclear how much Hitwise relied on Jumpshot data in order to support its data business, but the timing of the two shutdowns is telling.
In addition to sourcing data through partnerships with companies like Jumpshot, Hitwise collected data from online events across mobile and desktop sites, including info about visits, searches, clickstream patterns and conversions. The data was assembled into anonymized panels for analysis.
Hitwise was founded in Australia as a competitive intelligence service and consumer insights tool to help marketers compare website traffic. Over the years, Hitwise added tools to the platform, including behavioral analytics and audience segmentation.
Experian acquired Hitwise in 2007 for $240 million, but later sold it to shopping-focused marketing tech company Connexity in 2015 – and took a hit on the deal. Experian announced its sale of Hitwise at the same time it announced its divestiture of consumer research company Simmons to PE firm Symphony Technology Group. Experian sold both companies for $47 million combined.
At the time, Experian said it sold Hitwise and Simmons because they provided “limited synergies” with its core businesses.
But Connexity, which rebranded in 2014 from Shopzilla, a company best known for its comparison shopping engine, saw Hitwise as a source of better data for its shopping databases and as a way to court product marketers with more detailed segment analysis.
Until March 19, Hitwise users will continue to have access to historical data through Jan. 28. Hitwise reps will contact clients who prepaid for services not yet rendered, and all will receive a 60-day full-feature free trial of an analogous offering from SimilarWeb.
Click here to read an email sent to clients on Tuesday from Hitwise’s chief revenue officer, Craig Teich, with more details on the closure.