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Newly merged RhythmOne plots Asia expansion with RadiumOne MD planning Singapore move

Following its US$22 million acquisition of digital marketing platform RadiumOne, the newly merged ad tech company RhythmOne is planning to open a new Asia-Pacific hub in Singapore.

San Francisco-based RhythmOne, which specialises in cross-device content management, is planning to shift the RadiumOne APAC HQ away from its current base in Sydney, Australia, and create a team of 20 people in Singapore.

One of those relocating from Sydney will be Adam Furness, RadiumOne’s managing director, who will take on a similar role under RhythmOne.

Speaking to Mumbrella Asia about plans for further growth in South East Asia, Furness said: “It’s something to start to think about. For now the focus is to get the integration between the two businesses right and then think about how we can, particularly from an APAC perspective, build our presence here and particularly ensure that we have a truly localised offering.”

Adam Furness

In particular, Furness said the Singapore hub would primarily serve the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, with the long-term goal being to have boots on the ground in each market. Meanwhile, around 20 people will remain across RhythmOne’s offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, serving the Australian market.

After the deal with RadiumOne was made public, RhythmOne subsequently announced it was acquiring video adtech player YuMe in a US$185m-deal.

Once all three entities merge, RhythmOne’s global headcount will reach around 1,000 people, while the company will have a consolidated ad tech offering to take on players such as Facebook and Google.

Speaking about M&As in the ad tech arena, Furness said: “In my view I think there are too many players. There’s not enough [business] to go around. There’s a lot of [ad tech] businesses that are re-purposing the same technology and are just selling it under a different brand and claiming they can do certain things – which we know they can’t – so there absolutely needs to be consolidation.”

Founded in the US in 2009, RadiumOne utilises data taken from social networking sites and uses it to tailor digital advertising through real-time bidding.

Now made up of more than 300 people – 10 of whom sit in Singapore – the company also provides clients with a link shortener built to provide brands’ websites, which gives marketers information of what content is being shared on “dark social” or private messaging channels. The South East Asia operation is currently led by Charlie Baillie, who will remain in Singapore under RhythmOne as the vice president of commercial partnerships, Asia Pacific.

Once fully merged, RhythmOne also plans to launch an influencer platform that will use the same URl-shortener to track links shared by influencers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and trace a user’s purchase route.

Furness added: “The way that we’re looking at it is how do we turn this influencer piece… and really bring some accountability around it to make sure it’s clear that it’s a partnership.

“Currently the content is good, but it’s clear that it is an ad. In the past, metrics around influencers centre on how many views, how many engagements, but they weren’t really driving real business outcomes. So for us, it’s how do we look at this influencer piece and drive it right down to a real business outcome.”

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