Engagement Display Advertising Model Broadens Portfolio of Services and Solutions Beyond Affiliate Marketing
NEW YORK CITY – September 5, 2012 – Rakuten LinkShare today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire mediaFORGE, a Utah-based dynamic display media company. Founded in 2009, mediaFORGE’s Consumer Engagement display platform provides online advertisers with a unique way to prospect, retarget, nurture, and engage customers to help drive higher conversion. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Rakuten LinkShare is acquiring mediaFORGE to add to its portfolio of affiliate marketing, search marketing and lead generation services and solutions. The company is expanding its offerings through the mediaFORGE acquisition to help online retailers drive multi-channel, integrated campaigns.
mediaFORGE is the only display advertising and retargeting company that bases its business model on Consumer Engagement, aligning its goals with advertisers’ goals by using a metric that measurably increases site conversions. As a result, clients get highly detailed analytics capabilities that offer online retailers and other companies a powerful tool for discovering actionable insights to achieve online marketing objectives.
Rakuten LinkShare’s global network will enable mediaFORGE to accelerate its expansion and reach throughout the US, Canada, the UK, and Japan. Long term the two companies will work together along with advertisers and publishers to identify multi-channel synergies and technical integration opportunities that will create value within today’s dynamic online advertising landscape.
Strong demand for display related services have recently been reported as advertising industry revenues continue to climb. In April 2012, the IAB reported that 2011 display related advertising revenues totaled
$11.1 billion, representing an increase of 15 percent over 2010.
“We welcome mediaFORGE to the Rakuten LinkShare family of services and solutions. Their unique Consumer Engagement advertising model presents a compelling value proposition to our network of global advertisers,” said Yaz Iida, chief executive officer, Rakuten LinkShare. “As we build a powerful, strategic portfolio of online marketing services that go beyond affiliate marketing, mediaFORGE complements our approach with a proven display and retargeting solution to help advertisers maximize their online investments while providing a personalized shopping experience for consumers.”
Advertisers searching for additional ways to drive sales using the cost-per-action (CPA) model will find the two companies aligned when it comes to pricing. The mediaFORGE pricing model is based on conversions attributed to Consumer Engagement while Rakuten LinkShare affiliate marketing has long been an industry leader in performance marketing.
“We founded mediaFORGE to address the growing need of online advertisers to optimize campaigns for performance, foster Consumer Engagement, and drive higher conversion while delivering a reliable return on ad spend,” said Tony Zito, chief executive officer of mediaFORGE. “This strategy will remain the same as mediaFORGE joins the Rakuten LinkShare portfolio of services. What changes is that our potential to reach more advertisers with our Consumer Engagement display model has grown exponentially as we make plans to expand our business around the world.”
mediaFORGE currently employs approximately 50 people, all of whom will remain with the company. The name of the company will remain mediaFORGE and the company headquarters, development, and business operations will remain in Salt Lake City. The deal is expected to close later in 2012.
About Rakuten LinkShare Corporation
Rakuten LinkShare Corporation provides e-commerce businesses with a vast, high quality pay per action marketing network, along with expert consultative services and patented technology. Rakuten LinkShare’s cost-efficient pay per action (PPA) affiliate network, search marketing and lead generation campaigns acquire new customers, increase revenue and drive results. Rakuten LinkShare clients are Fortune 500 and prominent companies doing business online, including J.C. Penney, 1-800-Flowers.com, American Express and Avon Products. LinkShare was founded in 1996 and is headquartered in New York City, with offices in San Francisco, Chicago, Tampa, London, Tokyo and Sydney. For more information, please visit: www.linkshare.com.
About Rakuten,br> Rakuten, Inc. (JASDAQ: 4755), is one of the world’s leading Internet service companies, providing a variety of consumer- and business-focused services including e-commerce, e-reading, travel, banking, securities, credit card, e-money, portal and media, online marketing and professional sports. Rakuten is expanding globally and currently has operations throughout Asia, Western Europe, and the Americas. Founded in 1997, Rakuten is headquartered in Tokyo, with over 10,000 employees and partner staff worldwide. For more information, visit http://global.rakuten.com/group.
 IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report. April 2012.