Why You Should Care That Adobe Bought TubeMogul

Things are not going to be the same in my hometown.

There’s a lot happening this week. I’m doing my best to look to the future, and that often means reading news about the future of the internet. It’s where I work. It’s practically where I live (most days, anyway).

That being said, Adobe has just seriously upped its game by buying advertising software company TubeMogul. Things are not going to be the same in my online hometown. Here’s why:

TubeMogul gets how people really watch TV.

Not all companies understand the idea that television and entertainment take place across multiple screens at various times. We still only barely have official Nielsen ratings for Netflix (and they’re sketchy at best).

TubeMogul’s entire claim to fame is that it strategizes around building ads that people can interact with across multiple platforms. TubeMogul is developing technology that can measure how ads perform across channels, even when they’re dealing with video. Yes, it’s annoying for all of us to see all of those ads. But it’s important for companies to pay attention to how people enjoy TV shows and movies. If they’re paying the right people, the entertainment sources we use get funded.

TubeMogul’s actually making money (unlike Adobe).

It’s true! TubeMogul made a profit last quarter. In a world where companies like Twitter and Facebook are all over the place, this company’s been making it work. Times are good for online advertising.

Compare that to Adobe. This big company has only grown more uncertain, and it’s safe to say that this acquisition may have come as part of an effort to modernize the company.

Adobe expects lower 2017 earnings than estimates

Owning Photoshop and other creation-based programs is nice. But diversifying business offerings, especially those connected to people using real-time Internet services, may help keep Adobe out of the Stone Age.

Boring attracts boring (and that’s a good thing!)

Adobe is not a sexy company. They make tools, like PDF readers and photo editors. It’s the same thing with TubeMogul. They make tools that ordinary people (and much sexier companies than they are) use on a daily basis.

This might be the most exciting work to people on the sidelines. These companies might not crack into the news very often. But fortunes can be made from “boring” industries. Elon Musk made a fortune running a company that transported money from one person to another over the Internet. Ditto with Ingvar Kamprad and his oddly-named Swedish furniture company.

Maybe after all these years of bizarre IPOs, tech’s moving back to trying to be slow and boring. One can only hope. Our stock portfolios can’t take it much longer.

Brit McGinnis is a copywriter and author of several books. Her work has appeared on XOJane, SparkNotes and anywhere fine stories are sold. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

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