Time Inc.-owned Viant has acquired the mobile-first programmatic ad tech company Adelphic, further bolstering the traditionally print-based magazine as a digital-first media outlet.

While Viant specialises in people-based programmatic advertising, which focuses on building out individual customer profiles rather than cookies, snagging Adelphic’s tech gives the publishing company its very own mobile, cross-channel Demand Side Platform (DSP).

That means buyers can deliver highly-targeted ads and use the self-serve platform – capable of reaching one billion consumers worldwide – to manage their own campaigns across Time Inc.’s portfolio, which includes the likes of People, Time, Fortune and Sports Illustrated.

Time Inc.’s president and CEO, Rich Battista, said that Adelphic’s self-serve capabilities deliver its partners “greater programmatic competencies”, with advertisers looking beyond just premium content at the most efficient buying processes.

Gap for opportunity

According to the group, the move towards “people-based solutions” has so far been dominated by ‘walled-gardens’ such as Facebook and Google, creating ample opportunity to employ the same methods across the open web, which tends to use proxies such as cookies for identification.

As such, Time Inc. has called the result of the acquisition “the first people-based DSP” and, according to Viant co-founder and CEO, Tim Vanderhook, “one of the only DSPs built mobile-first”.

“This addition will give marketers and their agencies the globally scaled people-based platform they have been consistently asking from us,” said Vanderhook.


Today’s announcement marks the ongoing reshuffling of Time Inc.’s commercial model as it increasingly makes strides towards becoming a fully digital publishing company.

The third quarter of the last year saw the company unveil a new sales structure away from an individual publisher basis, which saw executives overseeing groups organised around advertising categories, brands and digital sales, rather than its individual titles.

The acquisition is expected to complete by the end of the first quarter, while the terms of the deal were not disclosed.