Millennial Media acquires Metaresolver, looks to rebound from weak Q4


Millennial Media (NYSE:MM) has acquired mobile media buying and targeting platform Metaresolver. Terms of the all-cash transaction were not disclosed.

The Metaresolver platform analyzes volumes of data from real-time mobile bidding exchanges to help brands and agencies optimize their buy and deliver more relevant promotions. The firm was founded by Seamus McAteer, who previously launched mobile audience measurement firm M:Metrics (later acquired by comScore) and Mike Rowehl, the first engineer at AdMob, the mobile advertising network purchased by Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) for $750 million in late 2009.

Millennial Media said it will leverage Metaresolver data to offer deeper insights to its mobile advertiser and developer partners. The Metaresolver team will continue operating out of its San Francisco headquarters.

In related Millennial Media news, the mobile advertising network announced fourth-quarter revenues grew to $58 million, up 67.8 percent year-over-year but far below the previous quarter's 88 percent increase. Full-year 2012 revenues climbed to $177.7 million from $103.7 million in 2011, an increase of 71.4 percent.

"While year-over-year revenue growth of 68 percent is exceptional even for an Internet company, Q4 performance on revenue was below our expectations for the period," Millennial Media President and CEO Paul Palmieri said during the company's earnings call according to a Seeking Alpha transcript. "On revenue, we have some choices that we made in Q4 consistent with our long-held strategy on whether to change the business in some performance segments or to continue to focus on large budget brand campaigns and premium performance campaigns that have always been our bread-and-butter business. It wasn't until very late in the quarter that we saw that our choice not to participate in some of these lower-end performance segments, coupled with a few large brand deals that didn't materialize, would moderate our revenue growth metric for the quarter."

Millennial Media projects total revenue for the first quarter of 2013 will range between $48 million to $50 million--for the full year 2013, the company expects revenues between $270 million to $280 million. Some analysts warned that Millennial Media's growth could continue slowing in the months ahead as a result of increased competition in the mobile ad segment.

"Because there [are] now dozens of mobile ad networks, the piece of the pie that each of them is getting is shrinking," Stifel Nicolaus analyst Nat Brogadir told Nasdaq.

Millennial Media now reaches more than 400 million monthly unique users worldwide, including approximately 160 million monthly uniques in the U.S. More than 39,000 apps operate on Millennial Media's platform, and the firm has developed roughly 350 million proprietary, anonymous user profiles.

"Today, we deliver ads on more than 7500 distinct device types and about 20 percent of our ad impressions are on devices that aren't actually phones, including tablets and gaming devices, among others," Palmieri said. "Over time, we think that both the number of device types and the percentage of non-phones will continue to increase as more and more devices are designed to be inherently mobile devices. In 2013, we will continue to focus our development efforts on delivering highly affecting advertising across many different types of mobile and app economy-driven devices."

For more:
- read this release
- read this Seeking Alpha transcript
- read this Nasdaq article

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