Oracle To Acquire Digital Measurement Firm Moat

moat

Oracle will acquire digital measurement firm Moat extending its marketing and data clouds’ abilities to provide digital advertising analytics to advertising clients and publishers, the company revealed Tuesday. [Read the release]. Deal terms were not disclosed.

Moat will join the Oracle Data Cloud, which houses its Datalogix and BlueKai acquisitions.

"Moat has grown its attention analytics business by over 100% in the past year, providing actionable insights around viewability, brand safety, non-human traffic, and ad creative to over 600 publisher, brand and agency clients," Eric Roza, SVP and GM of Oracle Data Cloud, said in a statement. "With the Moat acquisition, Oracle Data Cloud now offers brands and publishers a full suite of targeting and measurement solutions to improve the outcome of virtually every type of digital advertising campaign."

Although Oracle had been looking to move further in the media space for several months, according to a source with knowledge of the company, it wasn’t interested in buying a media execution platform – like Adobe did with the video demand side platform TubeMogul.

“Oracle had everything underneath the execution, such as source data and identity management, but there was far less interest in … [getting into] arbitrage, paid media execution where you get a percentage of the ad dollar and it completely depends on whether those ad dollars get spent,” the source said.

Instead, Oracle placed its bets on a measurement and analytics platform that would snap right into its marketing stack and that could command large, recurring SaaS fees.

While measurement firms like Nielsen or comScore could have used Moat, they were unlikely to pay its hefty premium.

Moat attracted the interest of strategic enterprise acquirers because of their interest in measuring the efficacy of media – a missing component of many marketing clouds. And Moat, according to industry sources, was rumored to be among the best performers. 

While Adobe has Omniture’s web analytics, Oracle didn't have the same strength in traditional web analytics, nor did it have viewability-based metrics.

The acquisitions that constitute Oracle Data Cloud cultivate publisher audience data (AddThis), cross-device data (CrossWise) and offline purchase data (Datalogix). But Moat adds more digital insights to Oracle’s analytics offering.

Datalogix can show whether someone purchased but not whether a digital impression fired. Moat can measure the impression, but not the purchase.

So the acquisition was presumably good for Moat as well. Although Moat was widely heralded in the ad tech industry, many industry insiders believe it needed to be part of execution software to show its true value.

Alone, Moat can only show whether a digital impression actually fired, said Martin Kihn, a research director at Gartner. But that’s limiting – because in order for Oracle’s customers to show whether a digital impression resulted in a consumer action, it needed to connect to data like online or offline sales. And Oracle has those connections.

Moat and Datalogix also had complementary relationships. YouTube, for instance, worked with Datalogix on offline-to-online measurement, and also used Moat (and other viewability providers) for third-party verification. Similarly, Snapchat struck a deal with the Oracle Data Cloud after sealing a measurement contract with Moat.

With Moat off the table, the next up would likely be Integral Ad Science (IAS), which had also been under consideration by Oracle.

Keep an eye on Salesforce though, one source said.

Salesforce might have launched an Analytics Cloud two years ago, but it is virtually absent from digital ad measurement.

Industry insiders wouldn’t be surprised if IAS gets snapped up by a big enterprise tech firm that can pay a premium price – and wants to double down on ad tech.

“The way M&A happens, if one goes, it’s highly likely that another would go shortly after,” said Kihn. “It’s a group sport.”


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4 Comments

  1. And the winners are the Goodhart brothers, and their long time partner Michael Walrath. Just in time for a long summer holiday?

    Reply
  2. I'm not buying the statement, Oracle has no interest in the media execution business...Either someone misspoke or Oracle simply doesn't want to telegraph their strategy to SFDC. Not only is the media execution piece incredibly strategic, it's the most valuable part of the entire process; there's simply no comparison between media & measurement budgets.
     
    Oracle seems to be near completion with the build out of their Marketing Cloud. Moat, to me, is the second to last piece. Oracle now has the ability to truly connect digital ad exposure & engagement to sales, both online & offline. Via Datalogix & now Moat, Oracle’s Marketing Cloud helps marketers solve for their two largest measurement gaps; connecting ad exposure/engagement to sales & revenue lift and measuring the impact of online ads on offline sales. That’s one hell of a solution…I'd feel real good about walking into just about any CMO's office with those capabilities under my belt. But you can still get beat, even with those two incredibly important, strategic solutions. There’s one final capability needed to unlock the true potential of the Marketing Cloud vision. That just so happens to be execution! Integrating media planning, execution & optimization with the other marketing channels within Oracle’s Marketing Cloud is how they will win and create tremendous value for their customers. ExactTarget & Responsys, now SFDC & Oracle, have been promoting this vision for the better part of a decade now. Whether it’s called Customer Journey Mapping or Marketing Orchestration, the ability to coordinate & sequence messaging, across marketing channels & customer devices is by far and away the single largest opportunity for the Marketing Clouds and their customers. Without being able to execute media for their customers, as part of an integrated, cross channel campaign, neither Marketing Cloud can truly tap into their potential. What Roza is missing is; when an Oracle customer connects their 1st party data to ad inventory, that's not Media, it's CRM because it's targeting a known customer and the impact can be measured. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens first; will brands integrate CRM with other channels or will SFDC/Oracle complete the end to end Marketing Cloud by acquiring a cross channel bidder (with the recent TURN acquisition, Amobee seems to be very close, if not already there…).

    Reply
  3. To your comment about activation, Scott, it'll be interesting to see what MediaMath and DataXu's futures hold.

    Reply
    • Agreed Chris. There are plenty of buyers out there that could be in the market for a DSP. IBM, Salesforce, Oracle, Marketo, AT&T, Experian, Epsilon and plenty more.

      I think the other interesting thing to consider relative to DSP's is; how will the market value cookie based bidders vs. DSP's that have mobile ID/Deterministic ID based bidders?

      Reply

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