DailyDOOH Buys AKA.tv
February 14, 2012 by Dave Haynes
We’ve all talked about mergers and consolidation that was bound to happen in this sector, but about the last area you might have thought that would apply would in the entities writing about it. But we now have the first M&A news from the journalism side of the digital signage business.
AKA.TV, which was arguably the first major online industry news resource for the digital signage market, has been acquired by the owners of DailyDOOH, one of the web publications that bubbled up in the years that followed.
The company is ICGH Ltd., which is DailyDOOH editor Adrian Cotterill and a group of sinister people who sit at a giant table and, well, chortle uncontrollably. Cotterill isn’t talking publicly about plans for a reworked AKA, though it is definitely not a replacement for the now well-established DailyDOOH brand.
AKA was first launched in 2003 as a news portal for the emerging digital signage industry, which at that point was still struggling to describe itself – hence the “Also Known As” title. That struggle, crazily, goes on. The site was edited by Bill Collins and sugar-daddied by Bob Clarke and his Instrumental Media Group (both of those guys have kinda disappeared from the industry, when I think about it).
AKA was for two or three years the go-to site for the signage sector, but it pretty much lost its way when Collins opted out. It was acquired by Screen Holdings Ltd, owner of the Screen Forum Ltd, in Nov. 2007 and has been a bit of a non-entity since then. The group was closely related to the tech firm Digital View and had no real background in publishing. I had not even been on the site in probably two years, as it had a life support feel to the editorial effort.
“AKA.TV played an invaluable role in the early development of this industry and its global reach helped established The Screen back in 2007,” says Richard Cobbold, Chairman of The Screen. “As The Screen’s events program has taken off, so has DailyDOOH with its prolific news gathering and analysis efforts. We are excited that they have chosen to expand with AKA, and happy the aka.tv brand will remain an integral part of the digital signage industry.”
No deal price is mentioned, though I doubt it would be all that high. I’m interested, though, in how this plugs into the efforts of Adrian and his colleagues and partners.