Pandora announced the acquisition of digital audio ad technology firm AdsWizz for $145m in cash and stock.
The new subsidiary of Pandora has been noted as one of the few adtech firms completely dedicated to digital audio, an industry that the IAB said is growing about 42% year-over-year. The pair, Pandora said in a statement, will “capitalize on this trend, while making it easier for publishers to monetize their inventory, and for advertisers to buy and measure their campaigns.”
AdsWizz joining Pandora, which is the largest streaming service in the US, will upgrade Pandora’s ad tech capabilities, and has potential to provide its advertisers with greater audience reach and expand the company’s revenue opportunities.
Pandora agreed to pay $145m in a combination of cash and stock, with a minimum of 50% paid in cash and the remainder to be paid, at Pandora’s election, in either cash or stock (with the stock conversion based on the dollar-volume-weighted average trading price for Pandora's common stock for 10 trading days prior to the closing), subject to certain price adjustments at and after closing.
Once AdsWizz becomes fully integrated in the Pandora ecosystem, advertisers will have the ability to transact through its global marketplace across Pandora and other leading audio publishers. Pandora said it will support the growth of AdsWizz’s core business and invest in technology development that serves all constituents.
Roger Lynch, Pandora’s chief executive, said: “Since I joined Pandora six months ago, I have highlighted ad tech as a key area of investment for us. Today we took an important step to advance that priority and accelerate our product roadmap. With our scale in audio advertising and AdsWizz’s tech expertise, we will create the largest digital audio advertising ecosystem, better serving global publishers and advertisers — while improving Pandora’s own monetization capabilities.”
Once the transaction closes, Alexis van de Wyer will retain his title of chief executive officer for the Pandora-owned subsidiary. On the progression of his company, van de Wyer said, “For the last ten years, our mission at AdsWizz has been to enable the global monetization of digital audio by building innovative advertising technologies for music streaming services, digital broadcasters and podcasters. We believe in providing value to all stakeholders — brands, publishers and listeners — through engaging and well-targeted advertising experiences.”
Van de Wyer added: “Now is the time to combine forces with Pandora, one of the leaders and pioneers in digital audio, and accelerate our ability to provide solutions that meet the increasingly sophisticated needs of advertisers and digital audiences.”
Pandora has been strengthening its capabilities in the martech and adtech space over the past few months, with the debut of its programmatic marketplace (powered by AdsWizz’s AudioMax platform) in February, and giving users of its free tier the ability to play unlimited songs by watching video ads.