Discovery buys ad tech startup as it readies new streaming video service

Discovery, Inc. has acquired the assets of ad tech startup AdSparx as it prepares to launch a new ad-supported streaming video service in 2021.

As part of the acquisition of AdSparx, Discovery is taking on the employees of Novix Media Technologies, which is based in India. Novix Media Technologies works with AdSparx on its dynamic ad insertion (DAI) platform and its team includes software engineers, quality assurance, DevOps and support engineers.

AdSparx offers a cloud-based technology platform that provides server side in-stream DAI across live and on-demand streaming. The acquisition will allow Discovery to deliver personalized and contextual ads across its expanding base of direct-to-consumer offerings globally.

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“This acquisition is part of a larger strategy to develop a robust portfolio of digital products, as we continue to scale-up our DTC proposition with locally relevant video experiences in key international markets,” said Avi Saxena, CTO of global digital at Discovery, in a statement. “We are also delighted to expand our footprint in India with a strong technology organization and view the country as an emerging key development hub in the future for our global DTC portfolio.”

Discovery said it also plans to use AdSparx’s DAI solution to deliver personalized virtual linear channels that are tailored to viewers’ interests.

Discovery CEO David Zaslav, speaking last week at a Goldman Sachs investor conference, said Discovery’s new streaming service will be “coming to the market very soon” and he said his company is “aggressively driving” new original content for the platform.

Details about pricing for the service have not yet been released by according to Digiday, the service will be called Discovery+ and it will offer an ad-supported option for subscribers. The company will reportedly limit ad loads to five minutes per hour of programming.