Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Pay attention to AOL and Tacoda

Compared to some other mega-deals of late, AOL's deal to buy Tacoda today probably won't get near the press—partly because AOL still has a long way to go before it loses its also-ran status, and partly because Tacoda, as a private company, has been flying below the radar, except to those deep into the online advertising business. Whatever the case, in buying Tacoda, AOL just snagged one of the best companies left in the current round of industry consolidations. Tacoda, the premier online ad network in behavioral targeting, stands to explode as behavioral targeting inevitably will, and AOL managed to snag it for only between $200 million to $300 million. (Compare that to the $649 million, WPP paid for 24/7 Media.) As it happens, the announcement of the deal—and one has to wonder if The New York Post story on it this morning made that happen today—coincides with The Behavioral Marketing Forum. If you haven't seen it yet, here's an interview Mediapost's Laurie Petersen did with Tacoda CEO Curt Viebranz at that conference. The only question left unanswered, I guess, is who will buy Revenue Science.

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