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Tracking service Compete has been acquired by TNS (Taylor Nelson Sofres plc) out of London. Initial acquisition price is $75 million with an additional $75 million paid out over 2008-2010 based on meeting certain revenue targets. Compete had raised $43M since 2000.
From the announcement regarding Compete’s revenue, "Compete’s revenue for the year ended 31 December 2007 was $14.9 million, over 50 per cent higher than in the previous year. Gross assets at that date were $11.2 million. The company made a loss of $4.5 million in 2007, as it invested in building its panel and industry expertise."
TNS notes that this acquisition will bring togther their strength in global marketing information with Compete’s online research strength which will allow for a stronger suite of tools for TNS clients. TNS finds this acquisition financially sensible based on a Morgan Stanley report which shows the web analytics market moving from $325 million in 2007 to $500 million in 2009.
Compete has continued to grow over the past couple of years in terms of buzz generation. I’ve witnessed more and more people talk about Compete in general conversations and in a much more positive light than any of the other public benchmarking tools. While none of these tools is 100% accurate, Compete has tried to become the closest to actual reality. (and yes, they are off on CN numbers)
Who knows where these tools (Alexa, Compete and Quantcast) will go as we move away from a pageview world to an attention or engagement metric-driven world. How will these comparison services track attention or engagement?
Last month Compete added distribution with Ask and a new service offering with reports for ad effectiveness.