Content-distribution platform Outbrain has acquired Slovenia-based demand-side platform Zemanta, which had already been an Outbrain DSP partner since last year.
Speaking to Campaign Asia-Pacific, Ayal Steiner, Outbrain's managing director for APAC said the acquisition was a result of demand from trading desks and agencies for Outbrain to connect programmatically. Outbrain also launched programmatic access with AppsNexus in May.
"A lot of trading desks are making their first steps into native, and they need tools to work with native programmatically," Steiner said. "That's where Zemanta comes in because it will be an efficiency driver for our agency partners and marketers." Zemanta's native DSP will continue to operate as a standalone product after the acquisition.
"Based on what we've seen in the past 18 months, the native advertising space is maturing," Steiner said. "And the market is telling us quite clearly that they want to work programmatically."
However, he agreed that native ads is still a fairly new category in most markets, let alone programmatic native ads. "The rise of mobile in APAC makes native a very appealing proposition, because it is one format where consumers do not ignore or (less liable) to ad block," said Steiner.
"When you want to reach consumers, to get them to engage with content, you need to provide them with the relevant info. That relevancy is a factor of data, and tech is a factor that understands what each consumer will find interesting," said Steiner.
Outbrain currently operates in APAC out of its Singapore, Tokyo and Sydney offices, while Steiner revealed that a launch in Indonesia is in the pipeline for the coming months.