Opera Mediaworks rebrands following namesake browser sale

Company eyes accelerated APAC growth, after a Chinese consortium acquired its sister unit.

Opera Mediaworks rebrands following namesake browser sale

Opera Mediaworks, the global mobile advertising and marketing platform, has rebranded itself as AdColony following the sale of the Opera browser in July this year.

Opera Mediaworks and the Opera browser were both owned by parent company Opera ASA. The sale of Opera browser to a Chinese consortium entitles the new owners to the Opera name and brand assets, while adding $575m (£453m) to the Norwegian company’s books.

The new name, AdColony, is not unknown in the industry. The mobile video ad platform was acquired in 2014, and has been a trusted monetisation and marketing partner for publishers, developers, brands and ad agencies, whilst being a major revenue driver for Opera Mediaworks, the company said.

Speaking to Campaign Asia-Pacific, Asia managing director Vikas Gulati said that the name change now unifies all service areas – brand, performance and publishing – under one entity.

"The company will focus on two key areas: developing more interactive products such as rich media/display and streaming videos, and building artificial intelligence capabilities for automation and data algorithms," he said. 

The company, which prides itself for in-app marketing, believes that when it comes to mobile, users spend more than 75% of time outside the "walled gardens" of Google and Facebook, instead on apps such as news, gaming and entertainment.

This allows companies such as AdColony to provide targeted solutions to capture the consumers’ attention and engage them without interruption. For instance, in countries such as China where media giants Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent control most of the web traffic, AdColony targets users on gaming and utility-based apps, which are hugely popular.

Gulati (pictured) attributes the success of AdColony’s targeting technology to their proprietary technology, Software Development Kit, which helps gather geographic, demographic and psychographic data.

With the growth of smartphone adoption and higher mobile broadband penetration in Asia, Gulati said there is a significant opportunity for AdColony to grow in the region. The US is AdColony’s most significant market, generating 60% of revenue, followed by EMEA and Latin America.

Gulati is bullish about video advertising in Asia, having built a creative team comprising creative directors, producers and accounts team who develop customised ads for mobile. "Mobile creativity, combined with AdColony’s ad technology platforms is able to drive results for brands and publishers that are otherwise not achievable via digital ads," he says. 

"This rebrand will not bring any changes to the company’s customers and partners," he assured. "We will continue to expand our reach in this region, invest in building dynamic, local market teams and by constantly innovating, using the latest technology and offering the highest quality advertising experiences to deliver even better results for brands, agencies and publisher partners." 

The name change is effective from January 2017, while the company will continue to stay independent, with the corporate entity listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange under Opera ASA.

A version of this story was first published by Campaign Asia-Pacific.

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