“Better quality ads plus non-interruptive ad formats will improve the user experience for News Corp.’s highly engaged audiences,” Sarah Wood, Unruly’s co-CEO, told AdExchanger via email. “Unruly will be able to create new inventory with its in-feed format and increase revenues for News Corp. publications on day one, at a time when premium video inventory is scarcer than ever before and demand massively outstrips supply.”
News Corp., the parent company for a range of publications and online properties including realtor.com, HarperCollins Publishers and Dow Jones, hopes the deal will ease two major concerns: viewability and fragmented audiences.
Unruly partners with Moat for third-party viewability verification. That lets advertisers buy video inventory via RTB on a viewable impression basis, Wood explained. But fragmented consumer attention is also a fundamental challenge for advertisers, which News Corp. plans to address via Unruly’s ad formats.
“Consumers are inundated with content, their feeds are flooded and they are suffering from content shock,” Wood said. “The challenge for advertisers is to make and distribute ads that can capture people’s attention and make a meaningful emotional connection with their audience.”
Unruly has also built a programmatic buying platform, UnrulyX, which connects advertisers to inventory from publishers like USA Today and IDG Tech. And last year, the company partnered with Index Exchange to plug into programmatic demand in trading desks and DSPs.
This acquisition speaks to the continued importance of video in programmatic, according to Andrew Casale, president and CEO of Index Exchange.
“For a major media company like News Corp. to make an investment in a company with a headcount of 200 focused on technology speaks to their perception of the importance of video for their company’s future,” Casale said.
With video, 15- and 30-second spots are becoming less important, he added, while innovative formats are increasingly needed to reach users across desktop and mobile.
“The fact that News Corp. brought it in-house is even more telling,” he said.