Brandscreen finds a buyer, heads out of administration promising viewables and fraud-proof programmatic via Zenovia

By Brendan Coyne | 3 March 2014

Brandscreen has been acquired by US-based display exchange Zenovia for an undisclosed sum. The demand-side platform entered voluntary administration in December but Brandscreen chief revenue officer Jo Gaines told AdNews the firm would now have global reach and deliver "fraud-free" viewable impressions programmatically.

Based in Georgia, with an office in Madison Avenue, Zenovia focuses primarily on mid-to-long tail online publishers.

The company has made some ground in the US since launching in 2012 and acquiring Brandscreen, which has made inroads into the Asian market in recent years, appears to make sense.

Gaines said that Brandscreen was seeking a buyer for some time before the administrators were appointed. She said the deal means it can bring back some staff made redundant and build out its products and reach. "It's a good news story and a sign of the [programmatic industry] consolidation that has long been predicted."

The deal meant the company could deliver "guaranteed in view media" and would bring to market the first "viewable media offering that can be traded programmatically". Zenovia has an anti-fraud product and Gaines said that more detail would follow over the coming weeks. She said the viewables launch was "weeks away".

Gaines said that the combined companies would deliver a stronger product and a better ability to trade at scale than Brandscreen had alone. "Infrastructure is expensive. There is a minimum [capital] requirement to trade globally."

While some local publishers think that industry's shift to viewables (ads actually seen by people not just ads served) may not be a panacea, and fear it could be another stick to beat them with, Gaines, who comes from a publisher background at Yahoo!7 and CBS interactive, said it would deliver better yields for those with the best content.

"Too many publishers thought the way to generate revenue was to stick more ads on a page. You can charge a premium for good content. That is what we aim to do - increase CPMs for content that is sticky. That in turn funds better content rather than [losing out to endless internet inventory that is also about] sticking more ads on a page."

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