2022 is almost here, and it arrives with a sense of uncertainty. But, before we leap forward into the unknown, let’s take a moment to look back at the stories that you enjoyed most this year. There were plenty of new tools to explore, reports to read and acquisitions to look into.
January: Omnicom launched earned media ROI tool
Usually, the Edelman Trust Barometer is the favourite January story for PR Measured readers. In 2021, however, you preferred to read another agency story – Omnicom’s launch of its earned media ROI tool. Omnicom believe they cracked one of the longest-standing issues in measurement: consistently demonstrating the ROI of earned media content. The agency has launched a “patent-pending precision communications platform” called omniearnedID, which links the people exposed to a brand’s earned media content to measurable business results like sales and brand reputation.
Key Deals & Partnerships: Unicpeta acquired Ubermetrics; Hootsuite acquired Sparkcentral; SoCI raised $USD 80 million; Humaz raised $USD 3 million.
February: Edelman launched disinformation protection
Disinformation is one of the great threats to reputation. In February, Edelman launched its Disinformation Shield. As you might have guessed, the global service is designed to help organisations combat false narratives. It’s an addition to the firm’s CommsTech offering. (Much like January’s top story, this product shows how PR agencies are answering the measurement needs of their clients.)
Key Deals & Partnerships: Cision acquired Brandwatch; CARMA acquired Manchete; SIX acquired Orenda; Proof Analytics partnered with Mettle Capital; Onclusive partnered with Shareablee.
March: AWS rolls out media intelligence solution
In March, AWS introduced AWS Media Intelligence (AWS MI). The suite of solution will enable users to analyse media and improve content engagement rates, either via turnkey solutions from AWS Partners or using AWS Solutions to enable rapid prototyping. AWS MI solutions are powered by AI services such as Amazon Rekognition for image and video analysis, Amazon Comprehend for natural language comprehension, and Amazon Translate. While the solution is aimed at broadcast media owners, it should generate incredibly interesting data.
Key Deals & Partnerships: Meltwater acquired Linkfluence; Dataminr raised $USD475 million; Influenxio raised $USD 2 million; Promoty raised €1.2 million.
April: Fresh reports from Kantar and Burton-Taylor
Key Deals & Partnerships: Meltwater acquired Klear; Reputation acquired Nuvi; pressrelations merged with NR SWISS; Tagger picked up $USD 8.5 million.
May: Meltwater settled employee class action & reported earnings
In May, Meltwater agreed to pay employees $USD 14.5 million to settle a class action suit over overtime pay, according to Business Insider. The complaint alleged that Meltwater required salespeople to work overtime, falsely claimed that they were exempt from state and federal overtime laws and did not allow them to report overtime. The news comes in the same month that Meltwater reported 2020 earnings of $US 360 million, up by about 4% on the previous year. The report shows that almost one-third of earnings come from social media services.
Key Deals & Partnerships: Observer took over Recherchescout; 4Sight acquired Anavizio;
June: Babel Street lost its appeal
Remember the US Air Force contract worth $USD 259 million that was awarded to Dataminr? (In case you forgot, we looked at it last April.) Well, Dataminr wasn’t the only bidder for the contract and Babel Street, one of the other bidders, contested the award. It felt that its $USD 60 million-odd bid should have been considered more favourably. A review has taken place, and the procurement decision was upheld. But, the decision is an interesting read and provides some insight into both Babel Street and Dataminr.
Key Deals & Partnerships: Access Intelligence bid on Isentia; Meltwater acquired Owler; Falfurrias Capital Partners acquired Hamilton Place Strategies; Geospark Analytics partnered with Control Risks.
July: PMG bought X-Cago
Key Deals & Partnerships: Falfurrias Capital Partners picked up a majority stake in Alva; Dataminr acquired WatchKeeper; Oktopost raised $USD 20 million; Propel raised $USD 1.1 million; Klarna acquired APPRL.
August: WHO released COVID-19 methodology
Like me, you all love a good data story. In August, The World Health Organisation and Media Measurement released their methodology to filter and understand global public conversations in English and French related to COVID-19 on social media. The paper can be found in the new journal JMIR Infodemiology. It’s a fascinating look into the use of social listening taxonomies, and how the data for the WHO-Ears is being sourced.
Key Deals & Partnerships: Kantar Media announced plan to sell Reputation Intelligence division to Symphony Technology Group; Intrado acquired Hubb; Hootsuite acquired Heyday; Marlin Equity acquired ReviewBox
September: Tritium Partners picked up Public Relay
In September, Tritium Partners purchased a majority stake in PublicRelay. The investment will be used to accelerate the company’s plans to launch new analytics and insight products along with AI applications. The financial details of the purchase have not been released.
Key Deals & Partnerships: CreatorIQ picked up $USD 40 million and acquired Tribe Dynamics; Blackbird.AI raised $USD 10 million.
October: Talkwalker acquired Discover ai
In October, Talkwalker acquired UK-based Discover ai for an undisclosed sum. Discover ai blends AI and machine learning with human expertise to uncover insights from digital content. The Discover ai team will join Talkwalker’s professional services division. Talkwalker have also released its 2022 Social Media Trends report, which is worth a read. Among the many trends is the Metaverse, and Talkwalker have looked at how to measure engagement. That said, there is a lot to consider when measuring a new environment and I’m sure the smart folks at discover.ai will have some ideas.
Key Deals & Partnerships: Dataminr acquired Krizo; Presshook raised $USD 1.5 million
November: Isentia back in court over copyright
When Isentia and Meltwater won their long-running copyright dispute in October, you might have thought that would be the end of copyright squabbles in Australia for awhile. No such luck for Isentia. In November, the company was taken to court News Corp over its monitoring of Sky News for government clients. Local rival, Streem, has an exclusive license to monitor Sky News in Australia and New Zealand. (Streem has also won more than half of Australian Federal Government media monitoring contracts over the past two years.) Isentia argues that it has the right to monitor the channel for government clients.
Key Deals & Partnerships: Meltwater acquired DeepReason.ai; PressPages raised €2 million.
December: Streem acquired
It seems like 2021 has been quite the year for Australia’s media intelligence industry, and it finishes with a bang. Streem, the local start-up that successfully challenged the status quo, has been acquired by Cision for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition will see Streem retain its brand and platform in Australia and New Zealand.
It wasn’t the only story in December. The UK’s Signal AI has raised $USD 50 million in new funding (and a $USD 200 million valuation). It’s also rebranded itself as a “decision augmentation” startup as it moves away from straight media intelligence. Finally, Dataxet has acquired Thailand’s Infoquest for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition sees newcomer Dataxet strengthen its position in Southeast Asia.
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