'There needed to be consolidation' - A new rhythm for RadiumOne

Pippa Chambers
By Pippa Chambers | 10 October 2017
Adam Furness

Following news in June that data-driven marketing company RadiumOne's assets would be acquired by global digital ad tech company RhythmOne, AdNews can confirm the business will take on the buyer's name and will be rolling out its new brand proposition over the next month.

The move, which saw Sydney-based RadiumOne global president Kerry McCabe exit and MD Adam Furness move from an Australia/New Zealand role to an APAC role, sees RadiumOne become RhythmOne (R1). Its Sydney-based team will move into newly designed digs; Melbourne will relocate into a more appropriate share space and the Singapore team are looking for a bigger office.

The firm is also planning a roadshow and intimate launch events, but Furness says the most important element right now is to get the technical integration right first, “before an all dancing, all singing show”.

As part of the move there was a resizing of the organisation and across APAC there has so far been a move to relocate marketing and a number of operational roles to Singapore where it plans to make the APAC HQ in the future.

“We see Asia as a huge opportunity for R1 and it makes physical and financial sense to headquarter ourselves there for APAC,” Furness says.

“Australia will continue to have a strong presence with offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.”

While still going through the integration process, the move sees the firm introduce an influencer marketing offering to clients, including programmatic advertising delivery and will also build quality creative via its new internal creative studio.

Despite RhythmOne's more neutral black and blue colour theme, it's thought RadiumOne's bright pink and green will still play an important role in the new combined brand look and feel.

AdNews caught up with Furness to find out more about the move, its impact and future plans.

Q: What's life been like since the acquisition news? What was the impact and feelings of the team?

AF: My first response was thinking, 'about time' followed by, 'do I have a job?', followed by 'can I retire', followed by 'holly shit, Kerry McCabe is leaving and I'm going on holidays for four weeks to Greece, who's going to run the joint?'
From what I've learned, mergers and acquisitions always create an uneasy environment for all those involved, particularly if you're the one being bought. And there are many emotions which surface and normally include a mixture of anxiety, excitement and fear... many things are initially unclear and the 'greyness' and ambiguity of day to day life is apparent.
The team rode this roller-coaster, particularly in the first few weeks while I was away eating Gyros, drinking Ouzo and lying on a beach with my family. Daily calls and emails with the team in Singapore and Australia gave me a sense of how the team were feeling, but it wasn't really enough.

Q): Why has this deal happened now? 

AF: It just makes sense as we try to make the complex simple and the simple compelling for advertisers - there needs to be consolidation and RadiumOne and RhythmOne are so very complementary.
RadiumOne’s data-driven solutions are a perfect complement to RhythmOne’s offerings. The combination of RadiumOne’s unique data management technology (sharing software, data management and advertising delivering platforms) and RhythmOne’s scale of quality supply will enable demand-side platforms, brands, and agencies to access performance and engagement-based audience segments and private marketplaces within RhythmOne’s programmatic platform.
Once RadiumOne’s technology has been fully integrated, RhythmOne will be one of only a handful of global players with a complete end-to-end technology stack within the digital advertising ecosystem. RhythmOne will also be agnostic and decouple parts of the business to add value where most needed.

Q: Why is this a good move for RadiumOne as a business and why will it be good for clients?

AF: Today's customer is beset by marketing noise: too many ads, the wrong message and served too often. And despite technology advances, marketers struggle to target and message consumer segments in a way that is relevant, and to accurately measure what drives real business outcomes. RadiumOne's intent-based consumer insights and audience segments, activated through RhythmOne's platform, gives marketers the ability to reach any consumer, on any connected device, across any format at the right time. This empowers advertisers to make connections that matter, maximise return on ad spend and drive real business outcomes.

Q: And minus any jargon, a layman’s example of what a client can do now that they couldn’t before?

AF: While there is still some development time required for full integration, we are excited about being able to extend RadiumOne's data offering into the RhythmOne supply platform - making our data, targeting and segments available within a broader supply base, but also to serve our clients' branding needs, in addition to their performance marketing needs. RhythmOne's programmatic platform includes a host of unique private marketplaces - like guaranteed marketplace - which allows clients to access inventory with guaranteed thresholds of viewability and verification. We are every excited about being able to broaden our offerings in this way. We're also excited by being able to introduce a unique influencer marketing offering to clients, including programmatic advertising delivery and also build quality creative via our new internal creative studio.

Q: What's the most challenging thing about the rebrand/acquisition?

AF: Everyone is very excited about the combined proposition - probably the most difficult piece is bringing together two product road maps and priorities.  

Q: And the most exciting/interesting part?

AF: Introducing new capabilities to solve our partners' problems, the learning curve and opportunities for our team. 

Q: How has you're role changed? Did you want an APAC role? 

AF: My role is just a bit broader with more stuff to do and more time in planes and hotel rooms. Currently I'm based in Sydney and spend a bit over a week a month in Asia. I have a very understanding wife and kids that think face-time is a game :-)

Q: Why is the new company going to be better than the last? 

AF: We can solve more problems for more partners and we're truly agnostic in a world that needs businesses that are willing to partner/integrate for the greater good of simplifying the ecosystem. 

Q: Any tips for someone in your role who is maybe the subject of an acquisition?

AF: Biggest tip for leaders going through an M&A - stay close to your key people and communicate regularly and honestly.

In partnership with AdNews, R1, which has big focus on 'brand tribes', hosted a roundtable featuring top industry folk such as Lenovo and PayPal digital marketing execs – and more. Keep an eye on AdNews this week for more or check it out sooner in our October issue – out now.

Want more on ad tech? See: How Rocket Fuel plans to reignite its business?

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