Today, Facebook announced that it has acquired LiveRail, a video advertising technology company, at undisclosed terms.
LiveRail provides technology for publishers to monetize their videos through realtime bidding for ads. Algorithms enable publishers to match their inventory with the highest bidder for their content. Advertisers also gain from this as it gives them better audience targeting in realtime.
Facebook vice president of ads product marketing and atlas Brian Boland writes in an official blog post:
Today we’re announcing that we have agreed to acquire LiveRail, an advertising technology company that helps companies like Major League Baseball (MLB.com), ABC Family, A&E Networks, Gannett, and Dailymotion serve better ads in the videos that appear on their websites and apps. LiveRail was founded in 2007 and offers a comprehensive platform for online video publishers that help them find and serve the best ads possible. LiveRail also helps marketers by providing them with access to premium video inventory and the information that they need in order to decide where to show their ads. What LiveRail ultimately offers is a complete advertising solution for video publishers.
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We believe that LiveRail, Facebook and the premium publishers it serves have an opportunity to make video ads better and more relevant for the hundreds of millions of people who watch digital video every month. More relevant ads will be more interesting and engaging to people watching online video, and more effective for marketers too. Publishers will benefit as well because more relevant ads will help them make the most out of every opportunity they have to show an ad.
In an announcement of its own, RiveRail said that the company now has ‘hundreds of active customers,” and delivers more than 7 billion video ads each month.
At its f8 conference in late April, Facebook finally announced Audience Network (FAN), its long-awaited advertising platform. LiveRail’s acquisition could be a sign that video ads could be coming to this network, or even a standalone video ad network in parallel with FAN.
It wouldn’t be surprising if LiveRail’s technology and tools are integrated into Instagram as well. In March, Instagram signed its first advertising deal with ad agency Omnicom for $100 million, not too long after finally adding support for video, which commands the highest engagement and monetization, as we reported.
Last year, the company was on track to go public in late 2014. Its competitors YuMe and Tremor Video went public last summer, but without too much success.
LiveRail was founded in 2007 by Andrei Dunca, Mark Trefgarne, and Sergiu Biriș. The company previously raised a total of $12 million in funding from Pond Ventures.