Gabey Goh
Jun 10, 2016

Tech Talk: Weekly wrap-up

A weekly round-up of this week's tech news and announcements.

From left: Smaato founders Ragnar Kruse and Petra Vorsteher
From left: Smaato founders Ragnar Kruse and Petra Vorsteher

China’s Spearhead takes aim at Smaato

Beijing-based Spearhead Integrated Marketing Communication Group has made a proposal to acquire for US$148 million San Francisco-based Smaato, an independent real-time advertising platform for mobile publishers and app developers.

The acquisition bid will be through an M&A fund invested by one of Spearhead’s fully-owned subsidiaries and is subject to agreement and regulatory approval.

This deal is expected to significantly accelerate Smaato’s growth over the next few months and enable the company to enter China with an established Chinese partner. Smaato will now have access to the vast number of mobile users within China, extending its current reach of over one billion consumers outside of China.

Smaato CEO and co-founder Ragnar Kruse:

This collaboration creates enormous new opportunities for both partners. Spearhead brings to Smaato not only its expertise and a trusted partnership but opens up the Chinese market for us. Smaato allows Spearhead to expand very quickly outside of China. Together, we unlock potential for enormous growth and exciting possibilities that neither business could achieve alone.

Allspark goes live

Singapore-based company Near announced the global launch of its Mobile-First Audience Cloud, Allspark. This platform is touted to enable brands to visualise and analyse audience location, behaviour, demography and interest data to understand their target consumers.

It leverages diverse public and proprietary data sets, and curate audience segments based on historical and real-time data. It also allows its users to use data points like places, demographics, interests, and pre-built audience sets to curate audiences.

Vishnu Mohan, CEO Asia Pacific, Havas Media Group:

Allspark from Near is a game changing product for our industry, and takes our data driven approach at Havas to another level. The interface is extremely simple to use and declutters complex data sets with ease, which can be actioned by brands in real-time. We look forward to getting started on Allspark and helping our brands with granular ‘real time’ consumer insights, which can be used to shape their business & marketing strategies."

Getty Images switches on VR business (Photo: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Getty Images has announced the launch of the Getty Images Virtual Reality Group, a new business dedicated to the creation and global distribution of virtual reality (VR) content. 

The group will bring the latest in photographic and video technology together with Getty Images’ 21 years of experience in visual storytelling, to offer exceptional content for existing and future VR platforms. It currently provides a comprehensive offering of over 12,000 premium 360 images with new content added daily, as well as high res gigapixel content from key events and venues.

Last month, Getty Images and Google announced their latest partnership, which sees Getty Images supplying hi-res VR content from current events around the world for Google Expeditions. Getty Images partnered with Oculus Rift in June 2015 to make its 360 imagery available for users of the Oculus platform via its 360° View by Getty Images collection.

Dawn Airey, CEO of Getty Images:

The technology is still in its infancy – as are the business models addressing how to use it - but we can expect to see VR become a leading tool for visual storytelling. It is anticipated that over 14 million consoles will sell this year alone and we are only on the cusp of what will be a tectonic plate shift in VR.

Unruly and AppNexus pair up

Video ad tech company Unruly and advertising technology company AppNexus have announced a partnership to combine the reach of AppNexus’ video buying platform with the quality and scale of Unruly’s viewable video SSP, UnrulyX, where 70 percent of views are delivered across comScore 500 sites.

This new alliance is touted as an important step in ensuring that advertisers and publishers around the world can transact premium outstream video campaigns at scale in a fair and open market.

Eric Hoffert, SVP, video technology, AppNexus:

Now that Google has pulled YouTube inventory from the open market and as Facebook sunsets LiveRail, marketer choice, flexibility, and agility has been greatly restricted. AppNexus is working fast to bring access to diverse, premium video supply pools like those offered by UnrulyX to our open platform for buyers.

Ratings success

S4M (Success for Mobile) has been granted Media Rating Council (MRC) accreditation for mobile ad metrics, including served display and rich media ad impressions, clicks, and CTR for both mobile browsers and apps. Significantly, S4M is now the only service currently accredited by MRC for certain mobile post-click metrics, including landings for browsers, and installs and opens for apps.

Christophe Collet, CEO of S4M:

With this accreditation, we are committed to keeping our high standards in place for our partners and providing them with the most efficient assessments of their customer journeys on mobile. We firmly believe that advertisers should only pay for ads that have been truly delivered to mobile devices and we are proud to provide our clients with the most accurate views into their mobile campaigns.

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