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Comcast buys French startup StickyAds to build out its digital video business

It’s part of the cable giant’s move into “programmatic” TV ads.

Comcast Strikes Deal With GE For Majority Stake Of NBC Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images
Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

Comcast has acquired, a startup that specializes in TV ads that run on digital properties.

People familiar with the transaction say the Paris-based startup will be rolled up into Comcast's FreeWheel unit, which helps TV-centric publishers like Comcast, Viacom and Fox deliver digital video ads. Comcast* bought that company two years ago for at least $360 million; no word on a purchase price for this deal.

I've asked Comcast for comment.

StickyAds helps publishers create their own "supply-side platforms" — essentially, private ad exchanges that allow publishers to give certain buyers the ability to purchase their inventory via "programmatic" tools.

That is: It lets them sell some of their digital TV ads to some buyers, using software.

StickyAds started up in 2009 and has since raised at least $6 million. Sources say all 100 of its employees, who are primarily based in Europe, will join Comcast/FreeWheel after the deal is done.

* Comcast, via its NBCUniversal unit, is a minority investor in Vox Media, which owns this site.

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