- Snap Inc., parent company of Snapchat, bought programmatic ad platform Metamarkets for under $100 million in advance of its Q3 earnings report on Nov. 7, according to two anonymous sources cited by TechCrunch.
- The move aims to beef up Snap's in-house ad team as it works to automate ad buying for its platform, after missing analysts' Q2 projections with $181.6 million in revenue, largely from advertising.
- Meanwhile, research firm eMarketer cut its forecast for Snap's global advertising revenue by 14% to $774.1 million this year. As recently as March, the firm estimated that the social media platform's global ad revenue would hit $900 million while its U.S. ad revenue would sink by 17% to $642.5 million.
With Metamarkets on Snap's side, the company could use this opportunity to boost its analytics dashboard across a number of properties and potentially open the door to greater collaboration with Metamarkets' current customers. Metamarkets processes billions of data points in real time, according to TechCrunch, and works with some major names in media and programmatic advertising, signaling that the reported acquisition may be a smart one for Snap.
Snap has faced troubles since going public in March and declaring the company was a camera-first business — not a social media platform — though its core function remains the Snapchat photo-sharing app that highly appeals to Gen Z and younger consumers. The app is, and will likely continue to be, free to use for consumers, meaning advertising will be its primary form of monetization. The company's latest move to acquire Metamarkets appears to be part of its ongoing efforts to build out its ad business. And putting a programmatic ad tech platform behind its ad sales could help Snap generate more revenue by appealing to marketers looking to reach Snapchat's mainly young consumer group.
At the same time, the acquisition represents the company's larger efforts to grow its base of advertisers, particularly amid hot competition from top rival Instagram, which has 500 million daily active users to Snapchat's 173 million. Recently, Snap made stronger efforts to appeal to more big-name brand advertisers with improvements to its ad formats, better third-party measurement and investments into original video programming to rekindle some excitement around continued innovation.