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Pandora Acquires Audio Ad Tech Startup AdsWizz

Pandora is acquiring San Mateo, Calif.-based digital audio ad tech startup Adswizz for $145 million in cash and stock, the company announced Wednesday. After the acquisition, Adswizz will continue to operate independently, but also power Pandora’s digital audio ad sales.

“Since I joined Pandora six months ago, I have highlighted ad tech as a key area of investment for us,” said Pandora CEO Roger Lynch in a statement. “Today we took an important step to advance that priority and accelerate our product roadmap.”

Adswizz CEO Alexis van de Wyer will continue to lead the subsidiary, which will offer advertisers the ability to buy audio advertising across Pandora and other services. The startup counts Spotify, Deezer, iHeartradio and TuneIn among its partners, according to its website.

In addition to programmatic ad buying for audio advertising, Adswizz has also been offering interactive audio ads and dynamic ad insertion for podcasts. Lynch recently told Variety that Pandora was looking to double down on podcasts, and create what he called “the equivalent of the podcast genome project” in order to properly surface and recommend podcasts to its audience.

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