Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Azerion makes its official entry into the UK

Media, technology, and entertainment company Azerion has officially made its UK debut. It comes over a year after Azerion acquired Collective Media Europe from TI Media to boost its UK and pan-European presence in digital advertising and publisher solutions. Collective will now be known as Azerion UK.

“Azerion acquired Collective in March 2020 – two weeks prior to the first COVID-19 lockdown. We’d already been through a lot of name changes down the years, so people knew us, but that was creating a bit of confusion in market. To then have another name change, when you can’t see anyone, seemed a little bit naïve and unnecessary,” said Dominic Woolfe, CEO of Azerion UK, in a chat with NDA.

“We had to deal with organisational changes and reshuffles. That takes time. It probably took us a good six months to become fully aware of who bought us and all the strings to our bow. We now fully understand who Azerion is, and evangelise about it to the wider industry. But you can’t do that overnight, so it was very calculated that we’ve waited until now, when everyone internally gets it.” 

Azerion UK will deliver outcomes to brand challenges through ‘supercharged’ brand creativity, more gaming capabilities, and international digital campaigns in brand-safe environments, through its first-party data-fuelled proprietary technology. According to Azerion, it already delivers trillions of verified impressions for thousands of clients across the world.

Meanwhile, for publishers, the company promises an increase in impactful formats, an enhanced user experience, and more monetisation opportunities. 

“We’ve created an end-to-end ecosystem. Within that ecosystem, we’ve got creative, we’ve got insight, we’ve got first-party data, we own our own DMP, we own our own SSP, and we’ve got 15,000 owned and operated games. So, we try to use all of that,” said Woolfe.

“Publishers hook into our SSP. Advertisers spend money with us. We want to deliver outcomes to clients’ brand challenges, and we can do that across the board now. Before, we were just selling advertising.”

Azerion currently boasts more than 900 employees across 21 global offices. The UK expansion follows a string of recent acquisitions including German game developer WHOW Games, Swedish programmatic advertising company Delta Projects, and Swedish media tech firm Strossle. 

In their native Netherlands, Azerion owns a 20% stake in Eredivisie football team Fortuna Sittard and has a mobile gaming esports partnership with AFC Ajax.

“We’re unique. Our three pillars are content, technology, and advertising. We’re not going to be a competitor to Google or Facebook, but we can be a nice local alternative,” said Woolfe. “We’ve got big ambitions, but everything is going to be done with a local flavour. We don’t want to lose our culture and our heritage because that’s what we built our business on. 

“Azerion is a big business, but it’s done with a local touch and a local flavour, which is really important, because servicing is still going to be critical.”

*Azerion is a client of Bluestripe Communications, owned by Bluestripe Group, the owner for NDA.