Xandr Buys Linear SSP Clypd, Extending Broadcast Reach Beyond AT&T

Xandr on Friday acquired the linear TV supply-side platform Clypd, its second acquisition since AT&T bought AppNexus and launched the data-driven advertising group last year.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Clypd had raised about $31 million since it was founded in 2012, and the German broadcaster RTL Group is a lead investor. Even though it’s a public company, AT&T wouldn’t need to disclose how much it paid for Clypd because the cost, even if north of $100 million (and the deal was likely closer to $30 million), wouldn’t be material to the company’s earnings.

Earlier this year, AT&T had instructed the Xandr unit to rein in M&A, since the telco carries about $170 billion in debt, so the mere fact that there was an acquisition is also important.

Regardless of the price tag, Xandr did sweeten the pot for RTL Group. Xandr named SpotX, the video SSP that RTL acquired at a $400 million valuation in 2017, as the exclusive third-party supply partner integrated with Community, Xandr’s own TV ad exchange, for 2020.

Xandr and WarnerMedia, AT&T’s content division, are also extending partnerships with Yospace, SpotX’s solution for server-side ad insertion, which allows TV ads to be dynamically served to connected devices such as smart TVs or smartphones.

Clypd could extend AT&T’s reach to other broadcast inventory. The startup has relationships with national cable programmers – the type of partners AT&T wants to add to Xandr’s Community marketplace, which now only counts A+E Networks and streaming-native media like Cheddar, Bloomberg and Tubi as alternatives to its own WarnerMedia.

Google has partnered with Clypd this year for similar reasons. In June AdExchanger reported that Google DSP Display & Video 360 would beta test a product with Clypd and WideOrbit to expand Google’s linear ad-buying access beyond its own supply-side customers, which include Disney and CBS.

The important question is whether Clypd’s usefulness as a partner will overcome competitive tensions between broadcasters and top ad tech exchanges like Google or Xandr now that it’s a subsidiary of the AT&T business.

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