Donovan Data Systems, MediaBank now MediaOcean


Ad agency transaction systems Donovan Data Systems (NYC) and MediaBank (Chicago) are merging to form “MediaOcean.” The mission will be to create the “MediaOcean OS Project” to create a single, neutral and universal operating system for advertising technology.

The private two companies had been rivals, and the move is likely to head off competition from Google, which now offers plenty of techniques for buying, targeting and measuring ads across a range of media, from TV to online.

The closely companies value their combination at $1.5 billion and will together process $150 billion in yearly global ad spend, according to WSJ.

Both provide software that lets agencies book ad time across a range of media, ensure those ads appear, bill clients and pay the media platforms that host the

Both DDS and MediaBank have fretted that Google could eventually overtake their core businesses. “Why fight each other when there is a much bigger battle to fight,” says Bill Wise, chief executive of MediaBank, who will serve as CEO of MediaOcean.

MediaOcean will be led by Michael Donovan, founder and chairman of Donovan Data Systems, as MediaOcean executive chairman; and Bill Wise, MediaBank CEO, as the new company’s CEO. The board will be made up of three directors from DDS and three from MediaBank. The new company will have 850 employees and offices in six countries.

MediaOcean says it will continue to invest heavily in advancing its core applications, including national and local TV, print, out of home, radio and digital, along with creative workflow management. DDS and MediaBank’s joint resources will develop a new, universal and fully open operating system for the ad industry.

“The MediaOcean OS Project” will encompass common standards, open platforms and universal APIs, to enable any agency, media seller or third party to seamlessly integrate with each other as well as with the MediaOcean systems.

RBR-TVBR observation: Earlier this month, we reported the TVB spun off the managing of its ePort electronic platform for buying and selling spot TV to Katz Television Group, Cox Reps and Strata. ePort is compatible with Donovan Data Systems, so progress is being made to form fully open buying and selling media systems that communicate with each other. Yes, Google has tried to muscle its way into buying and selling of media technology, but so far has only won the game in online. Google Radio was sold to Wide Orbit; Google’s newspaper venture was scrapped and Google TV has had limited success so far.