OOH Giant JCDecaux Buys Majority Stake In French Programmatic Ad Firm Displayce

July 11, 2022 by Dave Haynes

The biggest outdoor ad company on the planet – JCDecaux SA – has signed an “alliance” deal that sees it getting directly into the programmatic ad business, via buying a majority stake in the French demand side ad platform Displayce.

Started up in 2014, Displayce grew into what JCDecaux says is the leading French programmatic platform in terms of the technology, expertise and number of digital displays proposed throughout the world, with more than 600,000 screens in over 50 countries.

Says the PR:

Displayce is connected to the main market DOOH SSPs (Supply Side Platforms) such as VIOOH, BROADSIGN and VISTAR MEDIA and offers media buying with advanced targeting and efficient bespoke solutions thanks to its Data Management Platform (DMP) designed specifically for DOOH advertising.

The aim of the alliance with JCDecaux is to significantly accelerate the development of Displayce so that it becomes the benchmark DSP in the outdoor advertising market, while continuing to offer complete and direct access for advertisers and media agencies to all DOOH media.

This alliance will also support the international expansion of Displayce, via the implementation of a commercial acceleration plan to be launched from today. In addition to its current business in France, Belgium, Switzerland and Spain, Displayce intends to pursue its development on other geographies, starting with Europe in 2022.  

By entering into this alliance with Displayce, JCDecaux will significantly strengthen its commercial approach, offering its national but also its local customers a full-stack solution, from DSP to SSP, as well as simple and efficient access to new purchasing methods and smart planning.

Within the framework of this alliance, Displayce, located in Bordeaux, will keep its operational autonomy, with the founders maintaining their shareholdings alongside JCDecaux and the management of the company.

Thanks to this transaction, JCDecaux is further strengthening its digital transformation in OOH media, which is already well advanced with the roll-out of digital assets throughout the world, and the 2018 launch of a data strategy on a global level as well as strong growth in programmatic advertising space via the VIOOH platform.

“This transaction is part of JCDecaux’s digital transformation strategy,” says Jean-Charles Decaux, Chairman of the Executive Board and Co-CEO of JCDecaux. “It will strengthen the Group’s technology and programmatic ecosystem, for the benefit of brands, media agencies and partners, in the constant pursuit of impact, efficiency and activation, thanks to the quality and efficiency of DOOH. Autonomous in its operations, Displayce will benefit from the support of JCDecaux, especially for its international development, to become the benchmark DSP open to different DOOH market systems.”

As noted too many times, the jargon-rich, labyrinthine world of Digital OOH mostly leaves me cross-eyed, so saying what this means is tough. But generally speaking, when the whale companies in a market starting buying or building their own platforms it’s a desire to have more control, loosen their reliance on third parties, and trim or cut out costs associated with working with third parties.

Displayce is based in the wine-lover’s heaven of Bordeaux, and a nicely gender-balanced team of about 20 people.

I’d welcome context in the comments!

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