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Mood Media acquires audio ad network Vibenomics

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Mar 21, 2023
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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Mood Media has acquired Vibenomics to expand its in-store marketing business, company executives tell Axios.

Why it matters: Companies are continuing to invest in the rapidly growing retail media sector, a segment where retailers market their products in-store or online. Mood Media and Vibenomics specialize in supporting brick-and-mortar stores.

How it works: Mood Media helps retailers and other venues provide on-site experiences including music, digital signage and scents. It supports 500,000 locations and reaches more than 150 million consumers in more than 140 countries.

  • The company works with more than 850 enterprise brands including Nike, McDonald's, Marriott, CVS Pharmacy and Whole Foods.
  • Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

Details: When Vibenomics raised its Series B last May, it worked with clients in more than 6,000 locations. The combination can accelerate growth by expanding its ad network to Mood Media's clients.

  • "Scale is everything when it comes to advertising," Vibenomics CEO Brent Oakley says. "Even though we have the best software to run in-store advertising, we still needed to scale."
  • Vibenomics had raised $32 million. The company's 40 employees are all joining Mood Media, which already had 1,200 employees. Oakley's new title is executive vice president, advertising solutions at Mood Media and president of Vibenomics.
  • "Retailers exist on very low margins, and it's an insanely competitive environment," Mood Media CEO Malcolm McRoberts says. "80-odd percent of [purchasing] decisions are made in-store."

Catch up quick: Private equity firm Vector Capital acquired Mood Media in 2021 and appointed McRoberts as CEO. Prior, the company had gone public and later delisted and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

  • Last year, Mood Media generated more than $300 million in revenue.
  • "Ultimately the brick-and-mortar, the on-premise world will survive because it creates a different experience," McRoberts said in January at Solomon Partners' Media and Entertainment Summit. "Everybody predicted the internet would kill it. COVID would kill it. No, it didn't."
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