News Corp to Buy Unruly for up to $176m

News Corp Robert Thomson
Thomson: “Unruly is a feisty and creative company with a start-up sensibility that fits perfectly with our own approach to developing businesses in the digital age”

News Corp is buying video advertising firm Unruly Media for an initial $90m (£58m), rising to $176m if certain performance objectives are met. News Corp said it expects to complete the acquisition by the end of the month.

Unruly will operate as a separate business unit, reporting to News UK chief executive, Rebekah Brooks. Unruly will continue to work with its existing roster of global advertisers and publishers and collaborate with News Corp businesses around the world.

Founded in 2006, Unruly is a video distribution platform that specialises in tracking video sharing and delivering verifiable video views via paid media across mobile, desktop and tablet devices. The company uses historical sharing behaviour to predict the potential for video ads to go viral across all digital touchpoints.

Unruly’s ad suite includes its ShareRank technology that is able to predict the virality of videos across social and digital media. ShareRank can also inform the changes that need to be made to video content in order to improve the number of times a video is viewed, liked and shared.

The company also offers in-feed advertising, a mobile-first, video ad format that dynamically adapts to the unique look and feel of news feed formats. The ad plays as soon as the unit is in view on the page. In-page advertising is a video ad unit that appears as a video player unit within the body of article pages, across desktop and mobile. Finally, skippable in-stream advertising offers programmatic targeting and prominent branding within the player. Advertisers on Unruly’s platform include Adidas, Dove, Evian and Renault.

In the coming months, News Corp business units will begin to offer Unruly products to their advertising and agency partners, giving the publisher a significant increase in premium video and mobile inventory, and a stronger content marketing offering.

“Unruly is a feisty and creative company with a start-up sensibility that fits perfectly with our own approach to developing businesses in the digital age,” said News Corp chief executive, Robert Thomson. “The acquisition will serve as a catalyst for our brands, helping to extend our expertise in the digital and mobile video area.

“Unruly complements our traditional editorial and commercial expertise with contemporary insight into how people read, watch, buy and sell in the digital era. We have a track record of acquiring businesses with unique capabilities, allowing them the freedom to do what they do best, while providing a global platform to accelerate their growth and realize their potential.”

Unruly employs 200 people in 15 offices, and regional hubs in London, New York and Singapore. Its’ primary base will remain in Shoreditch, London.