With an eye on CTV (and Google), ad tech firms Rubicon Project and Telaria to merge

  •   December 19, 2019

In the latest ad tech merger, Rubicon Project and Telaria have agreed to combine, the firms announced Thursday. In a stock-for-stock deal, the companies plan to operate one digital media buying platform that supports connected TV (CTV), desktop display, video, audio, and mobile inventory transactions.

Why we care

The companies said the combination of Rubicon Project’s ad exchange and Telaria’s yield optimization platform for video publishers will create the biggest independent sell-side programmatic ad platform (SSP). It will

Telaria, formerly Tremor Video, specializes in video and connected TV (CTV) advertising. The rebrand came after selling off its demand-side platform (DSP). The company moved into CTV and launched an ad server designed for CTV and analytics in 2018.

Connected TV (also referred to as over-the-top or OTT) ad revenues are expected to reach $3.8 billion this year, up 39%, according to Magna Global, reaching $5 billion by 2020.

The companies also noted that their combined forces could present an alternative to the so-called walled gardens of Google and Facebook. Google dominates the ad serving market. “Our businesses are highly complementary, and when combined, are a powerful, strategic alternative to the walled gardens, which have been frustrating both buyers and sellers due to their lack of transparency, innovation bottlenecks, and conflicted business models,” said Telaria CEO, Mark Zagorski.

More on the news

  • The companies said their combined revenue was $217 million over the 12-month period ending 2019, an increase of 32% year over year.
  • Michael Barrett will be named chief executive officer, Mark Zagorski will serve as president & chief operating officer and David Day will be named chief financial officer when the deal closes.
  • The deal is a stock-for-stock merger with Rubicon Project stockholders are expected to own a majority of the combined company’s shares (to trade as $RUBI), at approximately 52.9%.

About The Author

Ginny Marvin is Third Door Media’s Editor-in-Chief, running the day to day editorial operations across all publications and overseeing paid media coverage. Ginny Marvin writes about paid digital advertising and analytics news and trends for Search Engine Land, Marketing Land and MarTech Today. With more than 15 years of marketing experience, Ginny has held both in-house and agency management positions. She can be found on Twitter as @ginnymarvin.

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