Scripps Will Acquire Streaming Audio Tech Company Triton For $150 Million

E.W. Scripps said Wednesday it will buy audio advertising and measurement company Triton for $150 million.

Scripps had previously purchased on-demand audio service Stitcher and podcasting ad net Midroll, but Triton will be its first subscription software business and first advertising measurement offering.

“We’re always looking for good opportunities, particularly if they diversify our revenue streams and reduce dependence on ad revenue,” Scripps CEO Adam Symson told AdExchanger.

He said Scripps had worked with Triton to monetize and measure its internet radio programming and that the deal had been in process since early summer.

Triton will operate as an independent subsidiary, as Stitcher and Midroll do, and is the only audio listenership data company with MRC accreditation, which Symson said should ease concerns about a major radio and podcasting network owning a leading measurement service in the category.

“Given how arduous the MRC accreditation process is, we expect that will help rest the hearts of any Triton customers,” he said.

But even if the Triton, Midroll and Stitcher remain standalone businesses, Scripps plans to take advantage of synergies, CFO Lisa Knutson told investors on a post-acquisition reporting call Wednesday. Triton’s technology for streaming audio file delivery and ad insertion could help save the company money, she said, and Triton will benefit from Scripps’ global standing and advertisers.

Triton could also freshen the legacy broadcaster’s cable and radio brand roster.

The kind of direct-response and direct-to-consumer brands that have been early adopters of podcasting and streaming – think mattress delivery startups and dating services – need new audience pools and to increase brand recognition, Laura Tomlin, Scripps’ SVP of National Media division, its holding group for Triton and other audio businesses, told AdExchanger earlier this year.

“We see an opportunity to bring those digital brands into cable,” she said.

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