What does Adobe buying comScore Digital Analytix mean to the marketplace?


This morning, Bill Ingram announced on the Adobe website that it has reached an agreement to purchase the ComScore Digital Analytics Business.  In 2010, ComScore themselves acquired what is today the Digital Analytix product.  At that time, NedStat, based in Amsterdam had about 125 people and the transaction amount was $36.7 million USD.  Terms of the Adobe deal have not been disclosed yet, but needless to say, the DAX product has in fact been a formidable competitor to Adobe and has played well in developing markets, especially in video analytics.

ComScore had some pretty innovative product development through their Digital Analytix product. DAX became a robust and yet very flexible platform, with multiple capabilities regarding data collection and measurement, from the comScore market unified measurement (panel and tag data) to internal (like CRM) client data. We think that the acquisition was for three major areas: the DAX customer base, the DAX technology and the DAX engineering staff.

From ComScore’s perspective, their focus has been in advertising and media and while they have created a solid product development team, I wonder if they were interested in continuing to invest in the DAX product line relative to their other product lines for real-time advertising.

From Adobe’s perspective, Adobe has purchased technology units from other firms in the past and not purchase the entire enchilada.  For example, Adobe bought Satellite for what we think was about $3 – $4 million.  We have reason to suspect that Adobe may have offered Search Discovery some type of terms within the deal to provide services to the services arm of Search Discovery as part of the deal in exchange for a lower price to acquire the software. If there’s anything to that, Adobe customers may wind up subsidizing the acquisition of technologies as they will probably be asked to pay higher service fees.

DAX Customer Base:

ComScore beat out Adobe in one of the Latin America’s largest websites for video analytics.  This acquisition will help them get back into deals with the strength of their integrated marketing cloud.

DAX Technology:

The video analytics had some neat features that made the pricing model for Adobe’s heartbeats become very expensive relative to the more dynamic measurement heartbeats that ComScore’s Digital Analytix, or DAX product developed.  While it’s my opinion that the ability for Adobe to reverse engineer the IP is within their grasp, they were probably eager to get their teams to incorporate some of these innovations throughout the Adobe Digital Marketing Cloud.

After proving that the product has great ability to measure web, mobile, video and other client data, DAX had it’s Multi-Platform technology awarded in 2014 for ‘New technology of the year’ by Digital Analytics Association. After having success on market multi-platform measurement, comScore also made it possible for clients to have an internal view for multi-platform data.

DAX Engineering Staff:

Adobe has solid teams in this area, they are indeed the very model of a product-driven company.  The team in Europe would be a welcome addition given that Adobe has very few engineering resources related to product development in that region.
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