Digital media company and ad sales platform Ziff Davis is expanding its network of properties even further with the purchase of NetShelter’s display advertising business, a well-placed source has informed us. The source couldn’t share exact terms of the deal, but did reveal that InPowered, the product that NetShelter has increasingly focused on (to the point that it largely rebranded itself under that name last November), will be split into two teams, with half heading to Ziff Davis as part of the arrangement.
NetShelter/inPowered is a digital advertising network that focuses solely on tech publications, including SlashGear, MacRumors, 9to5Mac, Crackberry, IntoMobile and many more. It claims over 150 million global readers reached, which adds a not-insignificant audience to the existing Ziff Davis portfolio. Ziff Davis counts a number of top tech sites among its own list of clients, including PCMag and Geek.com.
The deal makes sense for both companies, as NetShelter has been focused squarely on more of a content marketing play, which culminated in its launch of the InPowered product and later rebranding as the same. When Anthony covered that identity shift back in November, he noted that NetShelter CEO and co-founder Peyman Nilforoush believed that direct banner advertising was ultimately not the way forward for online ads, and that a means of surfacing so-called “earned” media, or positive reviews collected from independent sources, was much better for brands in the long run.
NetShelter/InPowered’s display ad business gave it ample reach from which to sell its next-generation vision of online advertising, but if the company is serious about focusing its efforts in that area, a sale to someone like Ziff Davis makes perfect sense, in terms of generating some capital for reinvesting in the new direction. Our source says that Ziff Davis will take over both publisher relationships as well as the display side of the business, with InPowered’s “expert word of mouth” model remaining with the original company.
We contacted NetShelter’s founders and the PR team for further information or confirmation on the news, but had not heard back as of press time.
Additional reporting by Anthony Ha.