Samsung To Acquire Canadian DSP And Ad Server AdGear

SamsungLooks like Samsung has joined the TV race for ad tech.

The electronics manufacturer has confirmed its acquisition of AdGear, a Canadian demand-side platform and ad server with roots in agency-serving tools.

“Samsung has acquired Quebec-based AdGear Technologies Inc., a leading digital advertising technology company that provides software and services to media agencies, publishers and advertisers,” the company said in a statement to AdExchanger.

Samsung continued:

“AdGear will operate as an independent, wholly owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Canada Inc. This acquisition was spearheaded by the Samsung Global Innovation Center and will support the extension of Samsung’s Smart TV services.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but one AdExchanger source claimed Samsung paid about $50 million or less for the platform.

AdGear’s stack includes a DSP for media agencies called AdGear Trader, a data management platform and a publisher/advertiser-focused ad server.

“Joining Samsung will allow us to leverage our platform to fuel further innovation in advertising,” AdGear wrote in a memo announcing the deal Thursday. “We are extremely excited about the future and the opportunities this partnership offers to our product and our team.”

The AdGear acquisition comes on the heels of a Wall Street Journal report outlining Samsung’s push to expand advertising initiatives as hardware sales flag.

And with recent upgrades to Apple’s tvOS, more device manufacturers are finding the real opportunity is in the operating system, the applications and data – rather than the device itself.

Ashish Chordia, CEO of multiscreen TV targeting company Alphonso, called the deal a “great move” by Samsung and said he fully expects Samsung to pursue ways to verify TV audiences across digital and mobile.

“The market we’re in is not a zero sum game,” he added. “Samsung’s entry into the market will be a net positive for Alphonso and others.”

Samsung, however, will have to walk a fine line between user experience and monetization. The smart TV manufacturer began activating tile ads into the menu bar on its home screen last summer, as well as ads within partner apps.

“I fully expect Samsung to launch an Alphonso-like product ‘delivering TV audiences’ on digital,” Chordia predicted. “They will do it by using automatic content recognition on Samsung TV and marrying that to mobile devices they find on the same network where smart TVs are. Hence they need a DSP to do this.”

At this point, the full extent to which TV companies collect viewership data and use it for advertising purposes is unclear. Some smart TV manufacturers, like Vizio, have learned the hard way when tracking is enabled by default.

Data and connectivity, as AdGear told AdExchanger in an interview in 2010, has been a big focus since the company was founded. AdGear billed itself, at that time, as a next-gen ad server.

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