Pandora Purchases AdsWizz In Digital Audio Ad Play


A global leader in digital audio ad technology has just been gobbled up by an audio streaming giant in need of a revenue jolt.

In a pre-dawn announcement, Oakland, Calif.-based Pandora revealed that it is acquiring AdsWizz in a $145 million cash-and-stock deal.

Terms call for a minimum of 50% paid in cash and the remainder to be paid, at Pandora’s election, in either cash or stock. The transaction is expected to close in Q2 2018 and is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approval.

AdsWizz will become a subsidiary of Pandora, with AdsWizz CEO Alexis van de Wyer remaining in his role.

Pandora says the addition of AdsWizz will upgrade its ad tech capabilities, provide its advertisers with greater audience reach, and expand the company’s revenue opportunities.

AdsWizz is one of the few ad tech firms that is completely dedicated to digital audio.

With digital audio advertising growing 42% year-over-year, according to the IAB, the combined offering of Pandora and AdsWizz is designed to capitalize on this trend, while making it easier for publishers to monetize their inventory, and for advertisers to buy and measure their campaigns.

Commenting on the acquisition, Pandora CEO Roger Lynch 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 road map. 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 fully integrated, advertisers will be able to transact through AdsWizz’s global marketplace across Pandora and other leading audio publishers. Pandora will support the growth of AdsWizz’s core business and invest in technology development that serves all constituents.

AdsWizz CEO Alexis van de Wyer commented, “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. 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.”

The acquisition does not change Pandora’s Q1 2018 guidance or full-year 2018 commentary that was provided on the company’s most recent earnings call.