Opera Software has announced the acquisition of mobile ad networks Mobile Theory and 4th Screen Advertising for a combined fee $26m (£16.5m), according to reports.  

The acquisitions come as Opera, whose mobile web browser has over 160m monthly users, announced $44m in revenue for the last quarter of 2011 in an earnings call.

Norway-based Opera has reportedly paid $26m (£16.5m) for the performance-based ad networks with $18m (£11.4m) being spent on Mobile Theory and $8m (£5m) on London-based 4th Screen Advertising.

The acquisitions will help Opera, which can serve ads to over 300m mobile sites and apps, bolster its emerging mobile advertising business.

4th Screen Advertising had formerly been part of MIG, which was recently sold to Velti for £34.8m without the 4th Screen part of the business. It will remain as its own brand, according to MD Mark Slade.

Speaking with new media age, he said the acquisition will mean that 4th Screen will be able to offer more ad formats and inventory to media buyers in the future (see video below for examples of examples of 4th Screen ad formats).

“We’ll still operate as we have out of our London offices, with all the same publishers, but will now have enhanced technology on offer,” he said.

Meanwhile, mobile ad network Adfonic has announced the availability of new rich-media ad formats, launched in conjunction with third parties including Celtra. The ad formats include interactive branded content units, including video banner slots, as well as in-app games.

Adfonic has also established a new creative services team to help advertisers customise their ad campaigns for mobile.

Paul Childs, chief marketing officer of Adfonic, said, “Rich media ad units on mobile used to be a niche offering but now you have bodies such as the IAB helping to introduce standards [such as MRAID in the US] making it interoperable with publishers’ design formats.”

The announcements come as Apple and Google announced systematic changes in how they sell their own mobile display inventory (nma.co.uk 16 February 2012).


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Published 16 February, 2012 by NMA Staff

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