Advanced Television

SpotX, smartclip progress merger

February 9, 2018

Video ad serving platform SpotX and online video advertising specialist smartclip have confirmed that the first major steps of their merger have been concluded, becoming one global company with a joint management team. This plan, dubbed ‘One Team, One Platform’, was first announced by their joint parent company, RTL Group, in November 2017.

The new video ad serving and monetisation company will operate under the SpotX brand in the US and internationally. The smartclip brand will continue to be used in certain local markets with the best services for each one of them. SpotX will announce details on the branding in due course.

Following the combination of SpotX and smartclip, the global company increases its international exposure strongly, and will generate more than 40 per cent of its business outside the US going forward. Additionally, this combination allows SpotX to focus significant resources on expanding investments and scale innovation.

SpotX’s co-founders, Mike Shehan and Steve Swoboda, will continue to serve as the CEO and CFO respectively of SpotX, whilst the co-founders of smartclip, Jean-Pierre Fumagalli and Roland Schaber, will report into them as General Managers for Europe. Fumagalli will continue to focus on Business Development, and Schaber will be responsible for the operational side of the business. J. Allen Dove will continue to serve as CTO of the combined company, and Thomas Servatius will serve as Co-CTO, European Broadcaster Solutions, reporting directly to Shehan.

“In the ‘total video’ industry, scale matters and the combination of SpotX and smartclip will enable us to compete more effectively in the dynamic programmatic video landscape, enhancing the enormous, exciting potential of our best-in-class technology platform, products, and services,” suggested Shehan. “The results speak directly to our companywide commitment to making our clients and partners successful and combining the strengths of two great companies with a common goal. This is a key element in RTL Group’s ‘Total Video’ strategy.”

“Especially in Europe, data-driven technical solutions and cross-device monetisation are key,” noted Fumagalli. “It is exciting to see that the combined company provides local talents and excellent expertise on the ground as well local product offers throughout Europe like no other market player.”

As a first partner, SpotX-parent RTL Group will roll out the new joint SpotX platform for its own broadcasting businesses in Europe, starting with German commercial broadcaster, Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland in March 2018. The shift from multiple external service providers to one unified solution results in a fully integrated, holistic, data-driven ad tech stack. This includes combined ad serving and programmatic platform serving covering the full range of ‘total video’ advertising across all screens, including TV screens through OTT / connected TV as well as addressable TV.

The new organisation will have over 550 employees. In addition to its leading position in the US and Asia Pacific, the combined SpotX spans its global footprint across 18 additional markets in Europe and Latin America with 220 employees in Germany, the UK, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, the Nordics, Ireland, and Italy with additional license partners in Spain as well as in Latin America.

The operational business combination of the two companies will be completed during the course of 2018.

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