Viacom has announced on January 8, 2018, that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire WHOSAY, an influence marketing company whose “deep reach into next-generation advertising and marketing platforms and solutions will boost Viacom’s capabilities across advertising, marketing and digital content.”

According to the press release, the acquisition will be an important component of the business strategy laid out by CEO Bob Bakish, who has frequently discussed the necessity of further expanding onto emerging digital platforms and beefing up the company’s already considerable advanced-advertising capabilities: “One objective is accelerating our participation in next-generation platforms and solutions,” Bakish said, outlining his principle 2018 objectives at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference earlier this month. “So those are things like the over-the-top business, where we see significant opportunity on the virtual MVPD [multichannel video programming distributor] side, also the direct-to-consumer side, and related to that, the advanced advertising side. And this is not something that we’re making up … we had about $350 million of business there across those sectors [in 2017], and we believe that’s a $1 billion business by 2020.

WHOSAY has already executed more than 50 campaigns for MTVBET and other Viacom brands over the past two years, crafting activations that feature top influencers such as singer/songwriter LeToya Luckett for November’s BET Soul Train Awards, and rapper Lil Yachty and actor Keegan Allen for the MTV Movie & TV Awards in May. “We’re excited about a deeper integration with WHOSAY and the strength of our combined capabilities,” said Viacom Head of Marketing & Partner Solutions Sean Moran. “This partnership will add to our linear, digital and mobile arsenal by bringing us further into the world of social media and shopper marketing. Together, we will offer brand partners unparalleled creative solutions that maximize the power of storytelling, influencer reach, omnichannel distribution and advanced advertising tools to create quality campaigns that drive results.”

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