Nielsen steps into programmatic world with $200M deal for eXelate

The emergence and rapid evolution of programmatic advertising in the TV and online video industry has prompted Nielsen to acquire data management tech platform eXelate,

The deal, estimated at $200 million, gives Nielsen a tool that it can use as programmatic advertising – which has established a deep beachhead in the online video industry – gains traction in the traditional television ad market.

As television advertising becomes more targeted, driven by the transition of the pay-TV industry to IP-based delivery, Nielsen’s panel-based ratings and advertising data will need to evolve.

That’s where eXelate comes in.

The company provides data and technology that, when combined with Nielsen’s audience data in realtime, could create insights that can be used to make “quality programmatic buying decisions in the marketplace,” Nielsen said in a press release.

Steve Hasker, Nielsen’s global president, said the deal “furthers our ability to help marketers improve the effectiveness of their advertising campaigns and to help media companies better sell their content,” and creates, he said, “a tremendous opportunity for Nielsen in the programmatic media ecosystem.”

In an interview with Ad Age last year, Nielsen flagged programmatic as an “emerging area” of focus the company was interested in for 2015.

“I believe this transaction is further validation that the TV market is moving towards a more dynamic and data driven world,” said Ooyala SVP of Adtech Sorosh Tavakoli. “Nielsen, with its strong panel based measurement business moving towards a much more transactional and realtime data and audience platform, shows where the puck is going.

“The future of TV is not fully dynamic and realtime, but it’s clearly going to be driven by much more than looking at the consumption of a limited panel a day after it happened,” he added.

Programmatic ad spend in 2014 was estimated at nearly $10 billion, according to eMarketer, an increase of more than 137% for the year.

Stay tuned.

Jim O’Neill is Editor of Videomind and Principal Analyst at Brightcove. You can follow him on Twitter @JimONeillMedia and on LinkedIn