Pandora to acquire AdsWizz for $145 million in cash and stock

Pandora announced last week that will acquire AdsWizz, the global leader in digital audio ad technology. The addition of AdsWizz will upgrade Pandora’s ad tech capabilities, says the company, providing 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, serving some of the largest players in the industry. With digital audio advertising growing 42% year-over-year, according to the IAB, the combined offering of Pandora and AdsWizz will capitalize on this trend, while making it easier for publishers to monetize their inventory, and for advertisers to buy and measure their campaigns.

“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 roadmap,” said Roger Lynch, CEO of Pandora. “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.”

According to Pandora, 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.

“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,” said Alexis van de Wyer, the CEO of AdsWizz. “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.”

At the closing of the transaction, AdsWizz will become a subsidiary of Pandora, with Alexis van de Wyer remaining the CEO of AdsWizz. Pandora agreed to pay $145 million in a combination of cash and stock, with a minimum of 50 percent paid in cash and the remainder to be paid, at Pandora’s election, in either cash or stock (with the stock conversion based on the dollar-volume-weighted average trading price for Pandora’s common stock for 10 trading days prior to the closing), subject to certain price adjustments at and after closing.

Here the message from the CEO of AdsWizz

Today, I am thrilled to announce that we will be joining forces with Pandora, the pioneer in streaming music, and the largest digital audio publisher in the US. The combination of AdsWizz talent and technology with Pandora’s audience and resources will enable us to realize our full potential and purpose in connecting the world’s digital audio ecosystem with monetization solutions that bring audio to everyone.

When I came to AdsWizz 7 years ago, I was drawn by the mission to be the leading technology provider for digital audio. At that time, the digital audio industry was in its infancy, and programmatic buying was just taking off. We were a small, dedicated team with a big vision. Fast forward to today, where streaming services, podcasts, and voice activated speakers are becoming the norm. Throughout that time, we never stopped innovating, pushing our technology platform – and the entire industry — forward with new solutions, and committing ourselves every day to our partners success. Today, we are the leaders in digital audio ad technology with the largest and most respected publishers and agencies relying on our full-stack audio advertising platform.

Our vision doesn’t stop here. By combining with Pandora, we will continue to focus on innovative digital audio monetization and advertising solutions in a rapidly changing world. We will continue to operate independently, under the AdsWizz brand, and Pandora is committed to supporting our core business, and is also investing resources in technology development that will benefit ALL our customers and partners, including publishers, broadcasters, podcasters, advertisers, agencies, and ad networks.

We know that the value we have created for all our stakeholders – brands, publishers and listeners – comes from our ability to create engaging and well-targeted advertising experiences. That will not change. Our focus has always been digital audio, with a unique expertise in innovative monetization solutions. That will not change. What will change is our ability to grow even faster, to develop technology more rapidly, to accelerate our ability to provide solutions that meet the increasingly sophisticated needs of advertisers and digital audiences. And to have an even bigger impact on people’s lives. This is only the beginning.

The journey ahead promises to be exciting!