Broadsign’s Latest Acquisition Hopes to Streamline OOH

Partnering with fellow Canadian company Ayuda

This merger is only the latest rumble in an OOH market that's flush with ad spend.

Ad-tech company Broadsign announced the acquisition of cloud-based platform Ayuda today. The partnership of the two Montreal-based companies promises to bring a more streamlined media, marketing and sales management platform to publishers thinking of stretching their digital offerings out of the home (OOH) and into the streets. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In an interview with Adweek, Burr Smith, Broadsign’s CEO, said the current OOH landscape consists of a mesh of operating systems that simply “don’t know how to talk to each other,” not to mention the lack of automation in the space.

“On the sale-side right now, everything’s very much a manual process—with Excel spreadsheets and all of that,” he said. “Most of the digital publishers are still working off systems built for their original digital screens, and as that hardware becomes obsolete, the software becomes a bit obsolete, too.”

“Digital-natives are used to buying out-of-home a certain way, even though it might not be the most effective,” Smith continued. “Part of what we have to do in this industry is to make people more comfortable in this space, and this acquisition is all about making that transition a little easier.”

This merger is only the latest rumble in an OOH market that’s flush with ad spend. A recent report from Magna marketplace analysts recently found that global earnings in this space grew consistently from 2010 through 2018 at roughly 4.1% year over year, reaching a projected $31 billion by the tail end of 2018. As more and more dollars shift OOH, media owners are seeking ways to streamline their day-to-day operations across a complex snare of complicated digital and classic inventory.

“It’s about eliminating the friction that comes with publishing advertisements out of home,” he added, saying that Ayuda’s engineering team across Montreal, Germany, and Australia will spend a lot of their time beefing up automative efforts along the advertising food chain.

Ayuda’s acquisition, which is set to finalize in Q2, 2019, is meant to streamline and modernize the workflow for marketers seeking a sleeker solution for their OOH ads.

@swodinsky Shoshana Wodinsky is Adweek's platforms reporter, where she covers the financial and societal impacts of major social networks. She was previously a tech reporter for The Verge and NBC News.