AppNexus has announced a $100 million merger with rival company Yieldex, putting the New York ad tech firm in position to create an open marketplace for the direct, programmatic sale of online inventory.

The integration of the publisher forecasting and direct-sales analytics company supports AppNexus’s rollout of a ‘best-in-class, full-stack publisher platform’ and will utilise Yieldex’s analytics tools to deliver key insights to its clients.

AppNexus CEO Brian O’Kelly added: “This deal also positions us to lead on programmatic direct – one of the next big waves in advertising technology. The marriage of the AppNexus platform and Yieldex creates a comprehensive, open marketplace for programmatic direct.”


Programmatic direct, which is a way to automate direct ad buys for set campaigns – whether through automated guarantees, private marketplaces, or preferred deals – is a growing share of online advertising.

Estimates by eMarketer have valued the US programmatic market at over $20 billion by 2016, with 42% of this being bought and sold through programmatic direct.  

The acquisition of Yieldex follows a successful 2014 for AppNexus, which saw the company close a strategic transaction with WPP as well as mergers with Open AdStream, Alenty and MediaGlu. AppNexus also raised $110 million in capital which valued the private company in excess of $1 billion.

Andy Nibley, CEO at Yieldex, which powers direct sales efforts for publishers including The New York Times, Expedia and Pandora, believes the purchase is a move towards an ‘open ad tech ecosystem’ and further growth in the publisher space.

“AppNexus built the open, end-to-end platform that creates a vibrant and liquid marketplace for online inventory.

“The company already powers a substantial portion of the world’s internet advertising. Integrating our offerings into its publisher product will create the world’s leading, independent full-stack publisher platform and a new market leader in programmatic direct.”