Why 2016 could see more mergers, acquisitions in ad industry

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2016 could be the year we see a major increase in M&A activity within the advertising space, according to new data from mergers and acquisitions firm AdMedia Partners.

More than half of the survey respondents (54 percent) said they would explore a sale of their company next year. Last year’s survey saw 40 percent of respondents saying they would explore a sale of their companies.

Also, 81 percent of respondents believe that M&A by strategic buyers will increase in 2016.

The survey also found that the most attractive areas of interest for expansion or acquisition listed analytics and digital as tied for first at 51 percent, with social at 46 percent.

“It’s a good time for both buyers and sellers” looking to take advantage, respectively, of the current low rates and strong valuations, said AdMedia managing director Seth Alpert to AdWeek.

We also learn that three sectors enjoyed a big increase in respondents’ interest compared to last year: market research, ad tech and custom content/native advertising. “You’ve got a sense that just being a great creative shop, it’s nice, but it’s not enough anymore,” said Alpert. “Certainly, if you’re one of the major buyers, you’ve already got plenty of that stuff,” so shoring up in other areas makes sense.

AdMedia conducted this annual survey, now in its 22nd year, by asking 6,000 executives in the advertising industry to respond to various questions online. Results are reported in the aggregate.

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