Glam Media Acquires AdaptiveAds

Glam Media, Inc. , a vertical content network with more than 900 publishers worldwide and a comScore Media Metrix Top 10 Web property, today announced the acquisition of AdaptiveAds, a venture-backed display ad targeting and optimization company based in San Francisco and Mumbai, India. AdaptiveAds brings smart, creative audience targeting, adaptive ad optimization and brand engagement tracking to Glam Media’s powerful brand ads platform–Glam Media Evolution(TM), and enables both agency direct and self-service media buying solutions. Through the acquisition, Glam Media is opening an office in Mumbai and establishing an engineering presence in Pune, India. In December 2008, Glam Media reached more than 100 million unique visitors globally for the first time as reported by comScore Media Metrix.

“AdaptiveAds supercharges Glam Media’s brand engagement technology, delivering insight into how ads behave with different audiences and giving brands the ability to dynamically act based on this knowledge,” said Samir Arora, chairman & CEO of Glam Media. “This acquisition will help optimize results for brand ad campaigns across Glam Media’s targeted content verticals, passion groups and geographies.”

AdaptiveAds’ next generation ad serving platform, now renamed GlamAdapt, makes complex real-time ad serving and targeting decisions with the primary goal of optimizing brand engagement across a range of metrics critical for brand advertisers. GlamAdapt provides a breakthrough level of reporting intelligence for brands by delivering valuable return on investment analysis that is essential for managing marketing programs in the current economic environment. The platform will arm brands with insights into not only which specific vertical audiences or passion groups respond to their ads, but also which messages and marketing solutions provide the greatest engagement levels for each type of audience.

GlamAdapt BrandWords brings a simple yet revolutionary technology for advertisers to target audiences for brand engagement, similar to keywords used to optimize direct response search ads. Today, brands are limited to either terms a user may have searched for or weak contextual terms, neither of which provide the insight needed to execute successful campaigns. BrandWords are built the way brands think–by offering a wide range of targetable terms such as audience, context, sites, behavior, primetime and placement. For example, an advertiser can select Women 24-40, Fashionista, Beauty, At Home and Above the Fold for a campaign for a beauty product; Men, Urban, New York, Very High Income, Influential, and Follows Style could help launch a new luxury product. GlamAdapt helps find the best match for the BrandWords selected, then dynamically monitors and adapts the campaigns to ensure the best brand reach and engagement.

AdaptiveAds’ self-service ad technology will become the platform for GlamAds, the only self-serve brand advertising system of its kind focused on premium display. The display ads direct self-serve system, offering both vertical targeting and scale, will let agencies quickly create and place custom media ad buys across any verticals in the Glam Media network. A version of GlamAds will also provide the same service directly to small and medium-sized businesses, bringing purchasing power and pricing transparency never before seen in the premium online display ad ecosystem. Publishers in the network will be able to manage their primetime ads, advertorials, sponsorships and widget ads, and use GlamAds to manage non-primetime inventory.

“The integration of Glam Media and AdaptiveAds delivers the next generation of ad targeting, serving, optimization and reporting technologies that provide brands smart audience engagement not possible in print and TV advertising,” said Yogesh Sharma, CEO of AdaptiveAds. “Together Glam and AdaptiveAds are bringing advanced technology to help break down the barriers to effective brand ads online.”

AdaptiveAds is a three-year old start-up with investors who include top-tier VC firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson, key Silicon Valley startup investors and a list of blue-chip customers. AdaptiveAds’ US-based employees will join Glam’s ad products team in Brisbane, Calif. Offices in Mumbai and Pune will become Glam’s engineering and product development centers in India. AdaptiveAds co-founder and CEO Yogesh Sharma will become Vice President & General Manager of Ad Solutions at Glam Media. Glam is also reorganizing its technology, engineering and content teams to focus on brand engagement and display optimization, and expects to hire engineering employees in India. AdaptiveAds co-founder Sanjay Sharma will lead the team in India. Glam expects a net addition of approximately 20 new employees with this acquisition, bringing the total employees at Glam globally to 200.

“Technology innovation has been one of Glam’s key differentiators since the beginning,” said Fernando Ruarte, co-founder and CTO of Glam Media. “The acquisition of AdaptiveAds helps Glam bring advanced targeting, optimization and tracking technology using simple BrandWords to a reach of over 100 million unique visitors globally.”

More than 1,000 of the world’s top brands have taken advantage of Glam Media’s creative advertising solutions and sophisticated ad-targeting and measurement system. Glam Evolution, the Web’s first primetime inventory placement and vertical targeting platform, enables vertical targeting by audience, content, primetime and placement, filling a sweet spot in brand display advertising, which stands out in contrast to remnant display advertising solution. Glam Evolution is deployed across the Glam distributed media network of 900+ publishers worldwide. Both GlamAds and GlamAdapt will be launched as part of Glam Evolution platform later this quarter on women’s and men’s vertical networks.

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