- Adwanted Group bought media comparison company SRDS (Standard Rate & Data Service) from Kantar Media to expand its services for buyers of print advertising. Adwanted is an ad tech firm whose programmatic platform sells ad inventory in more than 125,000 publications worldwide, per an announcement shared with Marketing Dive.
- Adwanted plans to integrate SRDS's data on more than 6,700 U.S. business-to-business (B2B) and consumer magazines with its platform of private marketplaces (PMPs) for publishers. Adwanted previously had exclusive rights to license the data from SRDS, which was acquired by Kantar in 2009.
- Adwanted also will modernize SRDS's operations and update its data as part of an expansion plan, Adwanted Group CEO Emmanuel Debuyck said in a statement. He plans to retain all SRDS employees, most of whom are in its Chicago office. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.
Adwanted's acquisition of SRDS looks like a good fit for two companies with different backgrounds. Adwanted was founded in 2012 with the goal of modernizing the process of buying print advertising, while SRDS has been around since 1919, before print publications had any electronic rivals. As marketers seek a broader range of services and ad placements from programmatic platforms, Adwanted's combination with SRDS data can help to compare media outlets and identify which publishers reach target audiences.
Adwanted is touting the capabilities of its platform as the coronavirus pandemic forces media agencies to require their employees to work from home. The company's electronic platform can help to overcome some of the limitations on face-to-face meetings between media buyers and advertising salespeople. While the pandemic has dampened media buying and resulted in a 65% decline in transactions handled by Adwanted, its subscription revenue model shields the company from short-term volatility, AdExchanger reported. Adwanted's purchase of SRDS follows its acquisition in September of NDX (Newspaper Data Exchange), a database of more than 7,100 daily and weekly U.S. publications, according to Crunchbase.
The sale of SRDS is a sign of how private equity firm Bain Capital is restructuring Kantar after buying a 60% interest in the research company from WPP for $3.1 billion last year. With Bain's financial support, Kantar CEO Eric Salama said the company is looking to reinvigorate operations with a greater focus on technology that speeds up market research and automates services for marketers. The company planned to scale up its self-service portal, Kantar Marketplace, as part of its growth plans, Salama said.