Company Acquisition: Time Inc. Acquired Viant, Which Owned MySpace and Other Ad-Related Business Units

By Staff Writer

Feb 12, 2016 02:58 AM EST

Time Inc., one of the world's largest media group based in New York, had acquired Viant, the company that also had Myspace. That made Time Inc. the new owner of the once popular social network that has lost its prominence to more recent social media like Facebook and Twitter.

When Time Inc. decided to acquire Viant, it was mostly because the publishing company was interested in Viant's other business. Other than MySpace, the advertising technology company with people-based performance platform had an ad-targeting firm called Specific Media, video ad network Vindico, and smart TV ad software-maker Xumo. According to The Guardian, Time Inc. was mainly interested in the personal information held by companies such as Viant's Specific Media. Data from advertising business like Specific Media could help publishers like Time Inc. improve its advertising activities.

Details of the acquisition deal between Time Inc. and Viant is not being disclosed, but it's stated that the acquisition covers most of Viant's assets and all its business units, including Specific Media, Vindico, Myspace, and Xumo. Viant's former owner, the Vanderhook family, still hold a minority stake at the company. However, the percentages are not officially announced.

It's also reported that Time Inc. will run Viant as an independent business unit. However, the media giant intends to combine Viant's business with its own existing ones to create a big data powerhouse. Tech Crunch quoted that the company will merge its premium content, subscriber data, and advertising inventory with Viant's first party data and programmatic capabilities to bring substantial value to customers of both platforms.

MySpace, as one of Viant's business, is now owned by Time Inc. as well. The once-hot social network was bought by Viant's Specific Media in 2011 for $35 million from Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, which bought MySpace for $580 million in mid-2005. Even though MySpace had lost its popularity, Viant claims that the social network business' growth has not slowed down since the company acquired it. Viant claims that MySpace still has the data from 1 billion registered users, which in turn could also be helpful for Time Inc.'s business. 

According to Business Wire, with the acquisition deal, Time Inc. will be able to participate in the advertising segment in three different ways. The publisher could target ad delivery to the optimal audiences, link devices back to real people, also convert ad spending to actual sales. Time Inc. can also access data on the company's premium content, subscriber and visitor data to activate its user base across premium media brands.

Time Inc.'s move to acquire Viant will enable them to combine large data to improve advertising activities. It's a strategic combination between first party big data and premium content and media brands. With the acquisition, Time Inc. is now the owner of all Viant's business units including Myspace. 

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