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Yahoo snaffles mobile advertising startup AdMovate in quest to revamp its mobile presence

Read­ers in mobile adver­tis­ing media jobs who are famil­iar with these pages will be aware that we tend to favor news about up and com­ing lit­tle com­pa­nies, rather than Adland’s big­ger jun­gle beasts. But today, we find our­selves bring­ing news of both types of crit­ter: hun­gry giant gob­bles young fledg­ling.

Well, Yahoo acquires start­up mobile adver­tis­ing tech spe­cial­ist AdMo­vate, to be more pre­cise. The search leviathan has moved to pur­chase the start­up just a day or so after reveal­ing that around 340 mobile users now engage with Yahoo every sin­gle month. So media jobs vet­er­ans work­ing in mobile adver­tis­ing agen­cies will doubt­less agree that the acqui­si­tion kin­da makes sense.

A warm wel­come

Yahoo’s SVP of dis­play adver­tis­ing and adver­tis­ing tech­nol­o­gy, Scott Burke, could hard­ly con­ceal his jubi­la­tion. He states, “AdMo­vate has cre­at­ed sophis­ti­cat­ed tech­nol­o­gy that helps mar­keters reach their desired audi­ence at the right time and place. This is espe­cial­ly impor­tant for mobile ad expe­ri­ences that engage con­sumers on small­er screens.”

He went on, “This acqui­si­tion is part of our efforts to invest fur­ther in our ad tech plat­forms — Apt, Genome, and Right Media — and make buy­ing eas­i­er for adver­tis­ers and agen­cies. AdMo­vate’s per­son­al­iza­tion tech­nol­o­gy accel­er­ates our capa­bil­i­ties in mobile adver­tis­ing, and we gain an excep­tion­al­ly tal­ent­ed tech­ni­cal team.”

He’s prob­a­bly right to be seek­ing new cre­ativ­i­ty, espe­cial­ly as Yahoo’s dis­play ad rev­enue slumped by 11 per­cent in Q2 2013.

Mobile mir­a­cles ahead?

AdMovate’s pièce de résis­tance is its high­ly pro­fi­cient ad tar­get­ing, and this tal­ent fits per­fect­ly with Yahoo’s grow­ing mobile ambi­tions. The startup’s engi­neers will now move in with Yahoo’s dis­play adver­tis­ing team in Sun­ny­vale, and it’s hard to avoid the con­clu­sion that this was as much a pur­chase of tal­ent as it was of tech­nol­o­gy. Yahoo still relies heav­i­ly on dis­play ads for mobile adver­tis­ing, and the AdMo­vate team looks set to help them adapt.

Yahoo has been on some­thing of a shop­ping spree since Maris­sa Mey­er took the helm last year and seems deter­mined to adapt and keep ful­ly abreast of cut­ting edge tech­nol­o­gy. It’s been swal­low­ing star­tups like a fam­ished bask­ing shark guz­zling plank­ton.

Burke says that Yahoo is “thrilled” to have AdMo­vate on board and claims that the move will help bring new adver­tis­ing prod­ucts to its part­ners and glob­al adver­tis­ers in the months ahead.

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