A few weeks ago, Unity and the ad network ironSource announced a merger. Looking at the number of apps and games that use both technologies, ironSource will benefit from the merger much more than Unity.
Obviously, this is clear to competitors. And last week, ironSource’s archrival AppLovin announced it was looking to buy Unity for $20 billion. Despite the fact that the market capitalization of Unity at the moment is less than $17 billion.
Does it make sense for AppLovin to buy Unity?
Looking at the most popular mobile ad networks by installs, it is clear that from a purely competitive point of view, even apart from the numbers, the answer is obvious – yes, absolutely! If Unity teamed up with ironSource, they would have a huge ad network that could offer advertisers endless possibilities. This would make AppLovin’s offer much less interesting.
With approximately 114,000 apps and games in its network, AppLovin is currently one of the strongest ad networks according to the AppFigures SDK analytics. And unlike Unity and ironSource, AppLovin is used in many applications, not just games, which makes it a much more interesting option for advertisers.
IronSource itself is a weaker competitor, but together with Unity they will easily overtake AppLovin. If they merge, the Unity/ironSource network will consist of over a quarter of a million apps and games.
AppLovin will obviously suffer and cannot let this happen. It is unlikely that Unity can back down, but it cannot reject the presence of such a lucrative offer of acquire. The company is at a crossroads and may be rethinking its strategy right now.
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