Audience Partners To Buy Bering Media And Go Beyond The Cookie

Originally published in AdExchanger

Audience Partners, which provides an advertising platform focusing on advocacy, political and healthcare verticals, reached an agreement Wednesday to acquire Bering Media for an undisclosed sum. Audience Partners expects the deal to close in October.

For Audience Partners, Bering Media – with whom it has partnered over the past two years – provides an ad-targeting solution that doesn’t require cookies.

While Audience Partners, like Bering Media, has the ability to match, sync and distribute data for its clients, it typically relied on cookies to do this. Bering Media gives the company a new methodology.

“We now have a deterministic, cookieless methodology to deploy data into mobile, video, addressable TV, display and other areas not constrained by the cookie,” said Audience Partners CEO Dave Helmreich. “Bering Media has a solution that uses double-blind, privacy-enabling, first-party attributes to be attached to IP addresses that are provisioned by [the carriers].”

Bering Media’s platform lets advertisers leverage carrier data without allowing that data to leave the carrier’s network – all data stays within the firewall. Company CEO Michael Ho, who founded the company in 2008, compared this process to that of a hotel telephone operator: “When you call the front desk and ask for a friend in the hotel, the operator connects you without disclosing the room number.”

Bering Media does this via relationships with wireless providers, Internet service providers (ISPs) and multiple-system operators (MSOs). So besides technology, Audience Partners also inherits relationships with more than five top-tier US carriers across wireless, cable and DSL, according to Ho. The relationships cover more than 40% of US broadband households.

Bering Media’s equipment essentially sits behind a carrier’s network, directing ads to the right people without obstructing or interfering with the network path.

In return, Bering Media’s carrier clients gain the ability to use and monetize their own data assets, Ho said. These assets are then used to assist local TV sales forces, national TV sales forces or internal marketing departments for advertising campaigns.

Ho will become SVP of platform at Audience Partners, reporting to Helmreich. Bering Media’s 15 employees are also expected to migrate to the acquiring company.

Besides its key carrier clients, Bering Media also has partnerships with other ad tech companies (like Audience Partners). Helmreich envisions those partnerships to remain intact.