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What: Nielsen has acquired data and technology provider eXelate for an undisclosed sum, although sources say the deal close around US$200 million.
Why it matters: The acquisition brings Nielsen capabilities outside its remit of measuring audiences for TV planning and buying purposes and also much closer to the transactional side of the media ecosystem, revising its role as a purely panel-based research play.

0274f7c92497e33cf8d38025d3d06f38_400x400Nielsen has announced the acquisition of eXelate, a provider of data and technology to facilitate the buying and selling of advertising across programmatic platforms. This acquisition allows Nielsen to enable its clients to make better and faster marketing and media decisions.Sources estimated the transaction price at close to US$200 million , although terms of the deal were not disclosed.

With the acquisition of eXelate, Nielsen clients gain the ability to activate in real-time Nielsen audience insights as well as eXelate’s aggregated consumer segments from over 200 data providers. eXelate’s technology leverages data to inform the highest quality programmatic buying decisions in the marketplace.

Nielsen clients gain the ability to activate in real-time Nielsen audience insights as well as eXelate’s aggregated consumer segments from over 200 data providers

eXelate also aggregates and distributes third-party online data, composed of premium demographic, interest, and intent data from over 200 online and offline data providers. Nielsen intends to further develop and expand eXelate’s already rapidly-growing data marketplace and innovative technology solutions.

“This acquisition creates a tremendous opportunity for Nielsen in the programmatic media ecosystem,” said Steve Hasker, Global President, Nielsen. “Adding eXelate’s solutions to the Nielsen family furthers our ability to help marketers improve the effectiveness of their advertising campaigns and to help media companies better sell their content.”

“eXelate’s mission is to power the digital marketing ecosystem with data and insights to better inform the buying and selling of advertising,” said Mark Zagorski, CEO, eXelate. “We are excited for the opportunity to accelerate our business by taking this next step with our longtime collaborator Nielsen.”

The deal comes at a time when Nielsen was in the midst of buying offline-to-online data company Datalogix but was outbid by Oracle, which acquired Datalogix in December. Also, it comes less than two months after eXelate launched what the company described as a Customer Data Cloud, a platform that unifies its DMP and exchange with a common set of IDs across devices like tablets, smartphones and connected TVs.

Nielsen and eXelate were early partners, and the TV ratings company used eXelate’s DMP to power Nielsen Online Audience Segments-TV Viewing in 2012, a cross-platform product designed to help online advertisers target TV viewers.eXelate memberships of the Network Advertising Initiative, Interactive Advertising Bureau, TRUSTe, Council for Accountable Advertising, and Evidon’s Open Data Partnership, and these affiliations will remain in effect.

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