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Q1 2021 Media & Marketing Industry Trends
Media & Marketing transaction volume improved 13 percent over the past three months, from 270 to 303. Aggregate value declined 40 percent, from $26.4 billion to $15.8 billion.
M&A activity in the Marketing segment rose 44 percent over Q4 2020. Notable segment deals year-to-date included iHeartMedia’s announced acquisition of Triton Digital Media, which provides digital audio advertising technologies and audience measurement solutions, for $230 million; and Digital Turbine Group’s announced acquisition of AdColony, a mobile advertising platform, for $200 million (plus a potential earn-out of $200 million).
Transaction volume in the Entertainment segment gained 29 percent from Q4 2020 to Q1 2021. Two of the industry’s top five highest value deals year-to-date occurred in the mobile games sector: Electronic Arts’ announced acquisition of Glu Mobile for $1.9 billion and Embracer Group’s announced merger with Easybrain for $655 million.
Deal flow in the Internet Media segment increased nine percent on a quarterly basis. Notable segment transactions during Q1 2021 included Redfin’s announced acquisition of RentPath, an apartment search site operator, for $608 million; Naver Corporation’s announced acquisition of Wattpad, an online social storytelling platform, for $600 million; and Square’s announced acquisition of Tidal, a music streaming service, for $297 million.
As for other selected industry sectors, the number of B2B Publishing and Information transactions declined 28 percent, returning to its Q3 2020 level. Consumer Publishing volume, after doubling in Q4 2020, declined 25 percent in Q1 2021. Although Broadcasting M&A activity remained about constant, the segment was responsible for two of the industry’s top three largest deals during the quarter.