Ericsson to Shut Emodo Advertising Divison: Sources


Swedish telecommunications-equipment company Ericsson plans to shut down Emodo, the advertising business it launched in 2017, multiple people familiar with the matter told Business Insider.

“Emodo was created in a strategic play for Ericsson to provide our telco customers with monetization opportunities through digital advertising,” an Ericsson spokesperson said in a statement.

“But with Emodo’s business shifting away from mobile operators, the strategic fit for Ericsson has been reduced in recent years,” the statement continued. “Furthermore, despite a significant effort from the team to gain momentum, Emodo has not achieved key financial goals for the business.”

The company had a large layoff in May, with the remaining team staying on to wind down the business, according to multiple people familiar with the matter.

Those sources said the decision to shut down Emodo came as a shock to those affected by May’s layoff. Emodo had only this year brought on a new team to help it build AI-powered ad solutions for connected TV. Just last month, it launched a new website.

However, several sources said that the company had already undergone multiple strategy pivots and never really gained strong enough momentum in the ad marketplace.

Emodo had launched as a data management platform that used Ericsson’s connections with global network operators to build an anonymized database that claimed “1.3 billion user profiles,” which publishers and app developers could use to better match their audiences with advertisers.

Emodo acquired the location-focused data management and demand-side platform Placecast in 2018, and in 2021, it acquired Axonix, a mobile advertising exchange. It made a move into native advertising, offering ad products to both advertisers and publishers. And it later began pushing further into CTV, having last year hired digital ad veteran Andrew Rutledge — formerly of Xandr, Yieldex, PubMatic, and DoubleClick — as its chief revenue officer.

Emodo’s clients have included Shiseido, Audible, and Samsung, according to its website.

The closure of Emodo marks the latest in a long line of telco-adtech collaborations that have bitten the dust. Verizon sold its Yahoo and AOL properties to Apollo in 2021, the same year AT&T sold its Xandr adtech unit to Microsoft. The Singaporean telecoms company Singtel divested its Amobee adtech division to the adtech company Tremor International, now known as Nexxen, in 2022.

Matt Prohaska, the CEO of adtech consulting firm Prohaska Consulting, said the cultures of telcos and adtech companies are often misaligned, which can lead to telco-advertising businesses being set up for failure and not properly invested in. He added that telcos face the same challenges that the large number of retailers, airlines, and other apps have with launching new ad businesses.

“In marketing, for example, there is a big difference running campaigns for putting people in seats on a plane, or getting folks pushing a shopping cart for eggs, versus audience development and inventory management as a publisher,” Prohaska said.

Ericsson laid off thousands of workers last year amid a slowdown in demand for 5G equipment. However, the company said in April of this year that it expected its sales to stabilize over the rest of 2024 and predicted that its margins would benefit from the cost-saving efforts it had put in place.


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