Adknowledge Buys Social Video Specialist Giant Media

adknowledge-legg_editedAdknowledge has purchased video ad platform Giant Media for an undisclosed sum. The deal marks Adknowledge’s 12th acquisition.

Giant Media “seeds” video content through a network of publisher partners and emphasizes social sharing and earned media. Its platform, VideoStat, has supported distribution for the hit Dollar Shave Club campaign and Hyundai’s “Cheetah” spot, which aired during the 2012 Super Bowl. Other clients have included Johnson & Johnson, Honda and Pepsi.

“Advertisers want to ship a big chunk of their budget to digital video, and they’ve been working with some really big brands helping get their videos distributed in a new way,” said Adknowledge CEO Ben Legg.

While Adknowledge has made previous inroads into digital video, Legg acknowledged it hasn’t been enough. “We’ve been dabbling on the edge of video for quite a while,” he said, “but we’ve been on the periphery.”

In 2011, Adknowledge made a big move into the paid social media space with the purchase of AdParlor. That company had been focused on Facebook advertising before the deal, and has since expanded its work by also becoming a Twitter API partner late last year.

Last April the company acquired SocialWeekend Labs. The San Francisco-based startup joined with the AdParlor unit to offer its services with Facebook user acquisition for apps developers. Prior to the deal, SocialWeekend Labs had been credited with being providing user growth tools for popular apps including Hi5.

Under founder and then-CEO Scott Lynn, in 2010 Adknowledge bought CPA network Hydra Group. He said at the time the company aimed to be the biggest player in affiliated marketing.

Legg said his company enjoyed 50% revenue growth in 2013, and that Adknowledge’s headcount has risen from 240 to 320 employees over the past year. Giant Media has 30 employees. Adknowledge, based in Kansas City with offices worldwide, will keep Giant Media’s headquarters in Los Angeles. Giant Media CEO David Segura will “carry on running,” Legg said, and lead the new part of the company.

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