Opera just announced that it would spin off its advertising business into a brand new entity called Opera Mediaworks. Fully owned by Opera, the new subsidiary will consolidate under one roof multiple recent acquisitions, such as Mobile Theory, 4th screen or Admarvel. The Norwegian-based company claims that the new entity is now the world’s largest mobile ad network.
But the real news might come from the fact that separating these two entities makes a potential Opera acquisition much easier. For example, a technology company may be interesting by Opera’s browsers, but not by its very efficient and expansive advertising network. It will greatly lower the bottom line.
As Opera’s browsers are free, a good share of its revenue comes from advertising in addition to partnerships with hardware manufacturers and telcos. After today’s clarification, it will be much easier to evaluate the health of these two sources of revenue.
Opera’s advertising unit powers 20 out of the top 25 global media companies. It reaches 300 million monthly unique consumers, representing more than 50 billion ad impressions per month and $400 million of revenue in 2012. The company provides a wide array of products for publishers, advertisers and mobile operators — what you’d expect from a leading platform.
With today’s news, Opera currently has a lot of announcements to make. The company may even hint at new products during Mobile World Congress.