LiveRamp’s $150 Million Data Plus Math Deal Shows the Changing Demands of Television Ads

The addition will enable 'next-gen TV currency,' helping marketers correlate their ad spend to sales

Data Plus Math is forecast to contribute $5 million in LiveRamp's revenue in 2020, leaping to $20 million in 2021. LiveRamp
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While there may be major questions about ad tech’s overall future prospects, with ongoing talk of a shakeout, there are no such concern about the advanced TV sector, which continues to thrive.

This week’s announcement of the intended purchase of measurement outfit Data Plus Math by data onboarding company LiveRamp for $150 million is further evidence of the space’s potential value.

As evidenced by headlines emanating from the Cannes chattering classes last week, ad tech still holds value, with Teads reportedly shopping itself around with a price tag of billions of dollars, just two years after it was sold to Altice for $322 million. Meanwhile, Drawbridge, an outfit that seeks to help marketers with cross-screen measurement (similar to Data Plus Math), reportedly sold for $300 million.

In a call with industry stakeholders, LiveRamp revealed notable particulars about Data Plus Math, including its 25-person headcount and that it is forecast to contribute $5 million in revenue in 2020, leaping to $20 million the following year. LiveRamp claimed this is because it will provide the ecosystem with a more effective way to buy, sell and measure data-driven TV media.

This fact is helped by Data Plus Math’s relationships with media-buyers, cable operators, streaming TV service and networks, which help them attribute cross-screen ad exposure with dollars at the cash register.

In a release announcing the purchase, LiveRamp stated the combination of the two would enable “next-gen TV currency” adding that once the integration is complete, it will help in assisting advertisers to correlate their ad spend to sales.

Per the company’s leadership, this is because Data Plus Math brings together key sell-side relationships with world’s largest TV advertisers to accelerate its LiveRamp TV offering meaning can better understand the impact of their media spend.

“Data and technology have transformed the relationship a brand can have with its consumer on TV, creating tremendous opportunities to improve how TV inventory is bought, sold and measured,” said LiveRamp CEO Scott Howe in a statement.

John Hoctor, CEO of Data Plus Math, noted how the fusion of the two companies would also help advertisers and media owners keep up to date with evolving viewership habits, an area that LiveRamp was keen to trumpet during an earnings call earlier this year.

For instance, Target’s Roundel, the data-led media offering announced earlier this year by the retailer, described how LiveRamp’s identity resolution technology is “an integral part of our ability to truly understand” in-store visitors.

“As we continue investing in our reimagined media company, Roundel, this addressability plays a key role in our ability to create smart, personalized campaigns that connect our guests to the brands and offers that are most important to them,” added Kristi Argyilan, president of Roundel. “LiveRamp is an important partner that shares our vision for addressable, measurable guest interactions, and the addition of Data Plus Math’s powerful, real-world insights is an exciting next step in our work together to create exceptional guest experiences on any channel or platform.”

In LiveRamp’s subsequent presentation to stakeholders, it demonstrated how its second purchase of 2019 would fuse use its identity graph with Data Plus Math’s “omnichannel identity” to meet this need. This would include using panel measurement to help them ensure they can reach the audience their desired, fuse it with the set-top box and smart TV data to establish further granular insights and then use “outcome analytics” to establish if media exposure generates for a sale or prospect for an advertiser.

@ronan_shields Ronan Shields is a programmatic reporter at Adweek, focusing on ad-tech.