Video ad technology companies SpotX and Smartclip announced the first phase of their merger has now been completed. If this news seems familiar, it’s because the two—or, rather, their joint parent company, German entertainment company RTL Group—announced they were getting together back in November 2017. The ideas was to consolidate RTL’s ad tech offerings. RTL bought Smartclip in 2016 and SpotX a year later.
The newly combined company will be called SpotX (for the most part): While that will be its name in the U.S. and abroad, the Smartclip brand is better known in certain locations and will continue to be used there.
RTL announced the merger with the tagline, “One Team, One Platform,” along with a strategy of investing in ad tech and original programming. The idea is to take advantage of scale, and the super-sized SpotX will put its resources into expanding investments and scaling innovations. A combined SpotX is expected to get 60 percent of its business in the U.S. and the rest abroad.
The existing SpotX executive team will continue to lead the company, with Mike Shehan as CEO and Steve Swoboda as CFO. The co-founders of Smartclip, Jean-Pierre Fumagalli and Roland Schaber, will become general managers for Europe. The company will have over 550 employees.
“As members of RTL Group, SpotX and Smartclip are devoted to the vision of ‘Total Video.’ Our combined platform will be the cornerstone of RTL’s growing ad tech business and a crucial component of the Group’s global video strategy,” says Shehan. Scale matters, he adds, and combining the two companies will help it compete in the programmatic video ecosystem.
Showing that it eats its own dog food, RTL Group will become the new SpotX’s first customer, using the joint platform for its European broadcasting business. RTL property Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland will begin with SpotX next month, going from using multiple external service providers to one unified ad-serving and programmatic solution.
Look for the SpotX and Smartclip merger to finish up later in 2018.