Byravee Iyer
Sep 18, 2015

Unruly weighs in on implications of NewsCorp acquisition

In Asia, News Corp’s acquisition of video ad tech company Unruly will help the firm scale mobile, native video development even more rapidly and in a way that allows publishers to monetise growing mobile traffic.

Phil Townend
Phil Townend

According to Phil Townend, Unruly's APAC MD, a key benefit of the acquisition is that it allows the firm to scale development even more aggressively. “Our agile tech team in London is already iterating our product on three weekly cycles so this allows us to be even more well placed to react to shifts in user adoption that we’re especially seeing in fast evolving markets in Asia.”

News Corp has agreed to acquire Unruly Holdings in a deal that values the video ad tech company at up to US$177 million, but industry experts are questioning how the publisher of the Times, one of the first websites in the UK to introduce a paywall, is looking to increase the virality of its content.

One crucial point is the fact that the majority of Unruly pre-roll is placed on news websites. Unruly works with publishers like Daily Motion and Mashable. "Will those websites block any news content from News Corp?" asks Giles Henderson, VML's regional director of media and channels. 

“The key thing about the acquisition is that Unruly is going to be run autonomously,” said Phil Townend, MD Unruly APAC. “This means that we are going to continue our mission to provide high engagement, non-interruptive user friendly formats that drive value right across the chain, for advertisers, publishers, agencies and users.”

Unruly launchedits Asia headquarters in Singapore in April 2014. Townend claims the market response to the product has taken him by surprise, and allowed the company to scale rapidly in the last year, running over 500 “high performing” video campaigns across 12 markets.

Apart from the obvious benefits of data, tools and tech, Townend said it was Unruly’s “inquisitive cultural DNA” that got News Corp’s attention. “We’re proud to be an academic, agile, adtech company and this exciting news will only serve to accelerate the benefits of for all our internal and external stakeholders.”

 

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