Sep 13, 2023 - Economy

iSpot acquires TV measurement company 605

Illustration of an upwards trending line graph pushing off a smart tv screen

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

iSpot has acquired TV measurement company 605, the company's latest deal in its effort to strengthen its video attribution business, CEO Sean Muller tells Axios.

Why it matters: The acquisition helps improve iSpot's ability to measure outcomes, or the efficiency of ad campaigns, with greater access to third-party datasets and brings on more tech talent.

Details: Muller declined to disclose deal terms other than it was a mix of cash and stock. Founded in 2016, 605 was backed by Dolan Family Ventures. Its founder Kristin Dolan was named CEO of AMC Networks in February.

  • Muller says the company's 85 employees are joining iSpot, bringing its total employee count to 464.
  • "We think 605 was a bit of a hidden gem," Muller says, citing their technology stack and team of engineers and data scientists.

How it works: Muller says iSpot's outcome measurement relies most on first-party data, or the data that marketers collect from consumers directly, whereas 605 relies on third-party datasets including data from CPG, auto and pharma brands, credit card transactions and location.

  • It's also integrating 605's set-top box data of 16.6 million homes to now have TV device data from 82.7 million homes.
  • "Our North Star is the effectiveness of TV and video advertising," Muller says. "Everything we do is focused on helping ... ad buyers and ad sellers understand the effectiveness of their investments both from a creative perspective and from a media perspective."

Catch up quick: The deal is iSpot's fourth acquisition since 2021.

  • It acquired Ace Metrix, which measures ads' consumer sentiment, DRMetrix, which specializes in serving direct-response TV advertisers, and Tunity, which tracks out-of-home TV viewership.
  • It also invested in TVision, which included an exclusive data license.
  • Last year, iSpot raised $325 million from Goldman Sachs. Its previous funding was about $58 million.

The big picture: For years, TV advertisers relied on Nielsen as their primary measurement partner for viewership. But in the digital era, video publishers are experimenting with newer firms like iSpot and VideoAmp that have built different types of measurement capabilities for streaming and digital video.

  • iSpot landed some big contracts in recent years. Most notably, it became one of NBCUniversal's first alternate TV measurement partners in March after inking a deal to test its capabilities with NBCU around the Olympics earlier that year.
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