Watch out Google! Facebook just acquired programmatic video advertising platform LiveRail

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It might not be as flashy an acquisition as Whatsapp or Instagram, but Facebook's purchase of LiveRail is going to be a huge revenue generator for the company.

Today Facebook announced that it was acquiring the San Francisco-based video advertising platform LiveRail to serve up better quality, and more targeted ads to its users. LiveRail's specialty is working for publishers trying to monetize their video ad space, programmatically offering real-time ad bidding to a network of 160 buyers. Its clients include publishers video content publishers such as Dailymotion, MLB.com, A&E Networks and Gannet. Currently LiveRail delivers over 7 billion video ads a month.

In a blog post on the announcement, Facebook's VP of ads product marketing Brian Boland said the goal was to combine LiveRail's programmatic video ad placement capabilities with Facebook's analytics and targeting strength to create more relevant and attractive ads to users.

Boland wrote:

We believe that LiveRail, Facebook and the premium publishers it serves have an opportunity to make video ads better and more relevant for the hundreds of millions of people who watch digital video every month. More relevant ads will be more interesting and engaging to people watching online video, and more effective for marketers too. Publishers will benefit as well because more relevant ads will help them make the most out of every opportunity they have to show an ad.

Of course, by getting acquired, LiveRail's landed the biggest publisher of them all, and it's a move that'll be watched closely by Google. Earlier this month, Google introduced its own, programmatic video ads marketplace, working with only a select group of partners. It also bought video advertising platform mDialog, a direct competitor to LiveRail, to bolster its video ads capabilities for publishers.

Although Google's previous programmatic video ad offerings haven't been great, its strength lies in its huge network of publishers and websites, providing a large inventory for brands looking to advertise. Facebook's acquisition of LiveRail, as well as access to its publishing network will at least give it a dog in the fight.

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