Horizon Media Acquires Controlling Stake in Digital-Experience Company First Tube

Horizon Media, the independent media buying company, has acquired a controlling stake in First Tube, a company that specializes in a practice that has intrigued a growing number of advertisers: digital experiences.

First Tube is one of a number of companies that works to give consumers a way to interact with concerts, gatherings and the like. The company has helped create a video hub centered around fitness for Anheuser-Busch InBev’s Michelob Ultra and helped launch a series of streamed musical performances for the GrubHub delivery service.

“We are trying to anticipate consumer interest,” says Donald Williams, executive vice president and chief digital officer of Horizon Media, in an interview.

Other advertising companies are also interested in these tactics are more consumers grow accustomed to experiencing live events in new ways, some of them via streaming video, or at times of their own choosing. Ad giant Interpublic Group in April secured what is believed to be a minority stake in The Famous Group, a technology company that creates mixed and augmented reality experiences for live events. The company created dynamic images that were placed alongside a recent Nickelodeon football broadcast tailored for kids, and has worked at the Super Bowl, the PGA Championship and the NBA All-Star Game, among other events.

Like other companies, Horizon is eager to meet consumers as their behavior shifts to encompass NFTs, so-called “metaverse” experiences and more. “We are making strategic investments in technology and creativity platforms that meet and exceed our clients’ desire to better connect their brands with consumers in more meaningful ways now and in the future, “said Bill Koenigsberg, founder and CEO of Horizon Media, in a statement. “:Our goal every day is to be our clients’ most valued partner, and we make that possible by consistently helping to drive their business with expanded offerings, relevant innovation, and enhanced marketing and growth service capabilities that reach their audiences in new and different environments – whether the metaverse, NFTs, Web3.0, experiential, data solutions or beyond.”

 First Tube will continue to operate as a standalone company and be led by Andrew Beranbom, its CEO and co-founder. Specific financial terms were not disclosed.

Consumers are growing accustomed to “participating in any way you feel most comfortable” when it comes to communal events, says Williams. “It’s on your terms as an end user. With that in mind, he says, advertisers have new ways to harness audiences that gather for concerts, and the like.

Horizon launched Chapter & Verse, a unit focused on Web3 and metaverse issues earlier this month.


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