While online traffic measurement firm comScore moves ahead on its $732 million deal to acquire Rentrak, it’s selling another part of its business as it continues to streamline: today comScore announced that Adobe would buy comScore’s Digital Analytix big data business intelligence service, in a deal Adobe says will close in December.
The moves underscore how comScore is positioning itself as player specifically in measurement services for online brands and media companies who serve large consumer markets, banking on bigger scale to compete with the likes of Nielsen.
In that vein, comScore today also said that it had signed a strategic deal with streaming company Spotify. It also announced a new product that is very Nielsen-like — the “Total Home Panel” where comScore will measure household media consumption across all screens, platforms and devices.
The Adobe news was made public as part of comScore’s Q3 earnings, where the company reported revenues of $92.4 million, up 14% on a year ago but missing analysts estimates.
“In addition, we are announcing today that Adobe is acquiring our enterprise analytics technology, Digital Analytix,” the company noted. “This divestiture improves our competitive position, allowing complete focus on our mission to make audiences and advertising more valuable across all the screens that matter.”
Adobe and comScore have not immediately disclosed the financial terms of the deal, but we’re asking. Asked about the deal during the conference call, comScore CEO Serge Matta said that the deal was only finalized overnight. “It was an all-nighter,” he said.
Adobe says that it will be acquiring technology assets and customer accounts (exact number of accounts not disclosed) to build out its own analytics business. It does not specify anything about comScore employees who worked in those operations.
Interestingly, it looks like we could see more collaboration between Adobe and comScore as a result of this deal.
He declined to comment on what it means for the relationship in the future but did say this: “Historically comScore and Adobe had a friction point and that friction point was analytics,” Matta said on the call. “We competed in a lot of cases — we won some, they won some — and it was a very strong point of contention. That friction point has [now] been removed.”
ComScore notes in its Q3 filing that Digital Analytix would have contributed $4.85 million in revenue next quarter, so it was a small part of the company’s overall business.
The Spotify deal will see comScore become the streaming company’s ad measurement partner, covering 75 million active users in 58 countries and across both desktop and mobile consumption, starting in Q4 — a clear sign that Spotify too is looking to raise its revenue game by showing more usage data to would-be advertisers.
For comScore, both the divestment and the Spotify deal highlight how the company is looking to develop a stronger and more focused front, or as Matta put it in the conference call today, offloading “components of our business that were a distraction from our goal.”
ComScore is also making other efforts to streamline: it divested its mobile operator analytics division earlier this year to compete more squarely with Nielsen and channel resources in a more focused direction.
For Adobe, the company is looking to expand the kinds of services that it offers to enterprises as part of its Marketing Cloud operations to improve its margins on B2B services. This acquisition points to Adobe hoping to make analytics a greater part of that, applying big data technology to help businesses with their marketing strategies.
“I couldn’t be more thrilled to see prediction, machine learning and simple user experiences converge to serve the analytics needs of the world’s most innovative brands,” notes Adobe’s Bill Ingram in the blog post announcing the deal. He says all existing customer contracts will be honored with a seamless transition in terms of features.
More to come.