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Messaging App Giant LINE Corporation Acquires Video Ad Platform FIVE Inc.

Platforms will be linked to bring about better quality ad distribution meeting market needs for video marketing.

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LINE Corporation (LINE) has entered a capital alliance with FIVE Inc. (FIVE) – a developer, seller, and operator of a video ad platform for smartphones, in order to bolster LINE’s ad distribution business. This alliance makes FIVE a wholly owned subsidiary of LINE.

Line Corporation is a Japanese subsidiary of the South Korean internet search giant Naver Corporation and FIVE is based in Japan.

In 2014, FIVE launched its pioneering video ad distribution platform in Japan and has introduced such services as “Video Network by FIVE” (for performance-based ads) and “*Moments by FIVE” (specialized for brand ads). Since its release, the company has seen massive growth and, at present, has the largest scale of user reach for video ads in Japan (app monthly average users: over 28 million; website unique users: over 32 million). Additionally, FIVE has partnered with over 1,800 media partners – including high quality premium mobile apps – and has over 400 advertisers, showing significant growth and expansion in its business in just three years’ time.

LINE went into full-scale operation of its performance-based advertising platform, LINE Ads Platform, in June 2016. From Q4 2017, LINE has expanded its ad locations (ad inventory) from Timeline and the LINE NEWS news service in the LINE app to include other parts of the LINE platform, including its digital comic service LINE Manga and blogging service LINE BLOG. The company has also launched a variety of initiatives, such as developing an array of distribution options and improving targeting precision. As a result of these efforts, the service is being used – and praised highly – by approximately 3,000 businesses and brands. LINE is continuing to steadily grow and expand the business.

The goal of this capital alliance is to bolster both advertising platforms by leveraging FIVE’s technology and resources specialized in video advertising to improve the video ads on the LINE Ads Platform and LINE and its related services, in addition to integrating the FIVE’s video ad platform business base, made up of its over 1,800 media partners, with LINE’s abundant audience data from its over 71 million monthly active users in Japan.

Further, LINE will be evaluating bringing the business to the global market, including Thailand, Taiwan, and Indonesia – key regions where it has built up impressive user bases.

This capital alliance will allow both companies to provide their advertisers with even more appealing advertising options, as well as provide FIVE’s media partners with an even stronger monetization scheme.

The SDKs and services currently provided by FIVE can still be used as-is even after this alliance.

Keisuke Kanno, CEO of FIVE Inc. said, “For these three years since our launch, my desire to create a product and business that will make a meaningful change in the world has constantly been on my mind. Meanwhile, LINE Corp. is a global company that time and again has brought about their own impressive innovations.

By moving forward with LINE and bringing together our strengths, FIVE will be able to attain an even higher vantage point. I look forward to providing even greater value to mobile internet users through video marketing, and all the possibilities that entails.”

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