2014 has been a busy year of mergers and acquistions in the PR and social media measurement industry. Below I’ve summarized this activity, quarter by quarter. What is driving it? To be blunt: Profit. That is, the promise of profit.
Back in 2009, the economy hit PR spending hard, with renewals and purchases stripped out of budgets. But since then it’s been a slow, steady increase in industry spend, and today there’s plenty of money to be made. So private equity, venture capital, and existing players are looking for ways to disrupt and make the most of our estimated $2.2B-and-growing industry.
The public relations vendor industry has been moving toward an integrated solution offering since the turn of the century. Savvy PR professionals want this for their tool box because no one product has been strong in all aspects of the PR workflow. The ability to connect the dots between the media database, news articles, and social metrics is of tremendous value, but becomes a significant time committment when using separate systems. And if there’s one thing PR professionals lack, it is enough time. PRs require systems that are easy to use and need little ramp-up time.
10 Years of Consolidation
Before we review the recent past, it is interesting to review how the industry has been consolidating even before this year’s major movements. Here are major events from the last decade or so:
- 2003 – Cision acquires MediaMap.
- 2005 – Cision acquires Delahaye and Multivision.
- 2006 – Vocus acquires PRWeb.
- 2006 – NASDAQ acquires PrimeNewswire (renamed to GlobeNewswire).
- 2006 – Berkshire Hathaway acquires BusinessWire.
- 2007 – PRNewswire acquires Vintage Filings and Notilog.
- 2009 – PRNewswire acquires The Fuel Team.
- Vocus acquires HARO.
- Marketwire acquires Sysomos.
- Vocus acquires Datapress.
- PRNewswire acquires dna13, Corporate360 and Hors Antenne.
- NASDAQ acquires Glide Technologies.
- Vocus acquires Engine 140 & North Social.
- Cision acquires a minor stake in PitchEngine.
- SalesForce acquires Radian6.
- BurrellesLuce buys Cision’s U.S. print monitoring operations.
- Vocus acquires iContact.
- Thomson Reuters acquires RedEgg Solutions (renamed MyMediaInfo).
- NASDAQ acquires Thomson Reuters Corporate Solutions which includes MyMediaInfo.
- BusinessWire partners with NUVI for social media monitoring reporting.
- BusinessWire partners with NextWorks to provide video production and editing services.
2014 Measurement Industry Activity in Review
OK, now that we’re up top date, here’s the past year
The first quarter saw big names on the selling block:
- January – Gorkana and Precise Media Group are rumored to be in the market for buyers.
- February – Blue Canyon Holdings AB makes a cash offer to Cision shareholders.
- March – Vocus begins the process of finding a buyer. Salience Insight acquires U.S. operations of CARMA International.
In the second quarter the landscape changed:
- April – GTCR acquires Vocus. Sysomos and Clarabridge create a technology partnership. Twitter purchases GNIP.
- May – Cision is acquired by Blue Canyon Holdings, an affiliate of GTCR.
- June – Kantar Media acquires Precise Media Group.
The third quarter was relatively quite as acquisitions settled in:
- July – Innodata acquires MediaMiser.
- August – No public activity.
- September – Vocus Marketing Suite is spun out as OutMarket. Cision and Vocus acquire Visible Technologies.
The fourth quarter brought another round of major acquisitions:
- October – Moreover is acquired by LexisNexis. Cision acquires Gorkana Group.
- November – No public activity.
- December – MediaMiser acquires Bulldog Reporter. Brandwatch acquires PeerIndex. Rentrak acquires Kantar Media’s TV measurement business.
Does the future hold more excitement for the measurement industry? Yes, it absolutely does, and next month I’ll present my predictions for 2015. Meanwhile, I know I must have overlooked some activity, so please let me know in the comments.
Disclosure: The author uses client’s platforms including Vocus, Critical Mention, Lexis, and Factiva on a regular basis. Industry product reviews are protected under NDA and are not included in any posts without express authorization by the company.
### Thanks to Wordle for the word cloud illustration.
Latest posts by Roxane Papagiannopoulos (see all)
- What Should Communicators Measure in a “Post-Truth” World? - March 6, 2018
- 5 Steps to Make the Most of Global Data Collection - February 13, 2018
- Insight is What Earns PR a Seat at the Table - December 13, 2017