Aditude Amplifies Publisher Monetization with CPMStar Acquisition

In the high-stakes world of ad tech, strategic mergers and acquisitions can redefine the ecosystem. One such transformative move is Aditude’s recent acquisition of CPMStar, a key player in the gaming advertising space.

As Aditude integrates CPMStar’s assets and expertise, particularly its impressive reach of over 800 million monthly active users, this acquisition not only marks a significant expansion for the ad tech player but also signals a strategic shift in their approach to publisher monetization and advertiser relationships.

The union of Aditude’s ad ops technology prowess with CPMStar’s dominant position in the gaming world presents an intriguing blend of capabilities and market opportunities.

Occurring in the wake of Aditude’s $15M Series A funding in 2023, the move is a telling sign of the company’s ambition and strategic direction. In a candid conversation, Josh Schenker, Chief Financial Officer and Head of Corporate Development at Aditude, shares insights on this acquisition, its impact on Aditude’s trajectory, and the future of ad tech.

Lynne d Johnson: Josh, it’s evident Aditude is making significant moves in the ad tech world. Can you shed light on the recent acquisition of CPMStar?

Josh Schenker: Absolutely! The acquisition of CPMStar, finalized in the past few weeks, came together over the last few months. This move allows us to diversify and enhance the Aditude ecosystem, especially our ad ops technology business, and adds direct sales capabilities along with an owned and operated bidder. This marks a strategic shift from our traditional focus on ad ops technology.

LdJ: With the ad industry’s shift due to the demise of the third-party cookie, how crucial is direct sales to Aditude’s strategy?

JS: Even before the cookie concerns, direct sales have always been vital for us and providing more value to our customers. With programmatic advertising, achieving a near-100% fill rate is efficient, but direct campaigns tend to outperform programmatic in terms of yield. The cookie changes make direct sales increasingly important, helping connect advertisers with specific audiences.

LdJ: How did Aditude and CPMStar determine you were a good match for each other? 

JS: Following our Series A funding in August, we had a strategy to make some key moves with strategic acquistions. CPMStar emerged as an exciting prospect around late Q3 or early Q4. After initial conversations, we delved deeper around November or December, culminating in a few month process involving due diligence and legal aspects.

LdJ: Integrating CPMStar’s team with Aditude – what’s the game plan here and how does it look for Aditude’s future?

JS: We’ve onboarded eight team members from CPMStar, including six in sales, adding a new dimension to Aditude. The integration of two of their engineers helps us both in merging CPMStar’s technology and in enhancing what we’ve built at Aditude. Their direct sales experience, which we previously lacked, will be invaluable.

LdJ: Gaming is a distinct focus for CPMStar. How does this sector resonate with Aditude’s vision?

JS: While we’ve been successful with gaming clients, our interest isn’t limited to gaming. CPMStar provides a foundation in gaming, which we plan to leverage and expand into other verticals where Aditude has strong footholds, like lifestyle/entertainment, sports, and news.

LdJ: In terms of Aditude’s growth strategy, are more mergers and acquisitions on the horizon?

JS: Our M&A strategy is two-fold: to deepen our expertise in existing areas and to explore new products and services for publishers. We’re looking to build a comprehensive suite for publisher monetization and will be opportunistic in adding pieces to enhance our offerings. You’ll have to stay tuned for what’s next at Aditude!

LdJ: As digital media and ad tech evolve, how does Aditude plan to differentiate itself?

JS: Our focus is on providing end-to-end solutions and flexibility, offering publishers a menu of options tailored to their specific needs. Whether it’s our wrapper technology, flooring product, or full-demand management, we can adapt to different preferences and enhance publishers’ monetization strategies in various ways and also cater to diverse publisher needs.