- News Corp agreed to sell programmatic video advertising platform Unruly to Tremor International for a minority interest in the video ad tech company. As part of the deal, Tremor will have the right to sell outstream video for three years on more than 50 News Corp titles in the U.K., U.S. and Australia, per an announcement.
- News Corp is receiving 6.91% of Tremor stock, subject to an 18-month lock-up period and certain adjustments, along with a minimum revenue guarantee of 30 million British pounds ($39.5 million at current exchange rates).
- Rebekah Brooks, CEO of News Corp's News U.K. unit, is expected join the Tremor board as a non-executive director. Norman Johnston, CEO of Unruly, also is expected to join the board.
News Corp's sale of Unruly to Tremor is another sign of consolidation in the ad tech industry as smaller companies seek to build scale through mergers and acquisitions. The deal will give Tremor greater ability to negotiate more exclusive deals with supply-side platforms (SSPs) that let web publishers and digital out-of-home media owners manage their ad inventory. Unruly can help with this diversification with its brand and agency accounts, AdExchanger reported.
Tremor also can migrate brands that started with Unruly to Tremor's video ad tech platform while building on its access to News Corp audiences to work with brands or agencies. Tremor had operated a demand-side platform (DSP) since 2017, when it was spun out of a company that became Telaria. Tremor's Taptica division last February bought RhythmOne for $176 million to add buy- and sell-side programmatic capabilities. The acquisition of Unruly gives Tremor a broader presence on the supply side with a publisher ad network.
News Corp since last year has shopped around its two digital marketing subsidiaries, Unruly and News America Marketing, as part of an effort to unload businesses that were a drag on performance. News Corp bought Unruly in 2015 for $90 million cash as the budding programmatic market grew rapidly and spawned ad tech startups. The Tremor deal's valuation is less than what News Corp paid, but the media company still has an opportunity to recoup those losses if Tremor bolsters its growth.