Adobe Acquires Livefyre to Extend Marketing Cloud

Acquisition extends Adobe Marketing Cloud by connecting user-generated and branded content.

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Adobe announced an agreement to acquire Livefyre, a content curation and audience engagement company, to extend the Adobe Marketing Cloud. Terms of the pending deal were not disclosed.

The integration of Livefyre into Adobe’s content management solution, Adobe Experience Manager (AEM), will enable customers to collect, curate and publish user-generated content (UGC) from all major social networks into any digital experience across a brand’s owned properties, including websites, ads, emails, TV, digital billboards and apps. This provides brands with the opportunity to further drive engagement and conversion, according to the company.

The Livefyre platform provides publishers with access to billions of pieces of UGC that can be streamed in real time to various marketing channels. AEM manages more than 4.1 trillion rich media requests per year, according to Adobe, and is one of eight solutions in Adobe Marketing Cloud.

Livefyre is planned to be part of AEM and integrated into Adobe Marketing Cloud to make UGC available across all eight digital marketing solutions. Thousands of brands worldwide including two-thirds of Fortune 50 companies rely on Adobe Marketing Cloud, Adobe claims.

"The addition of Livefyre will enable customers to increase their content velocity across AEM and Adobe Marketing Cloud," Cathy McKnight, co-founder and vice president of Consulting and Operations at Digital Clarity Group (DCG), told eWEEK. "It will also allow customers to build a stronger pipeline through better management of all types of content: brand-generated, social, user-generated and more. With the ever-increasing demand on marketers to create more relevant and valuable content, Livefyre will help them do so more quickly and effectively."

UGC has a huge influence on brand-related decisions, McKnight explained, so it makes sense that some of the most engaging content is that which customers create. One way to enhance that influence is to include social and other UGC, such as product or service reviews on testimonial pages, into the content strategy, she said.

"Livefyre will allow Adobe customers to do that within the Adobe Suite. And adding Livefyre to the suite of solutions Adobe offers helps solidify their position as a solution provider leader in the digital experience industry," McKnight added.

Aseem Chandra, vice president of Adobe Experience Manager and Adobe Target, noted that Adobe helps brands create compelling content with Creative Cloud and then deliver and optimize those experiences using Adobe Marketing Cloud.

"With this acquisition our customers will be able to unify the best social media content with branded experiences created in Adobe Creative Cloud and community-driven content in Adobe Behance and Adobe Stock," he said in a statement.

Bringing together branded and curated social content from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other major social networks will accelerate content marketing and set Adobe apart in the market, said Melissa Webster, vice president at market research firm IDC.

"This is a great move for Adobe," Webster told eWEEK. "Livefyre is already an Adobe partner and they already have a big pipeline together and they have joint customer successes already. This is a super move for Adobe because it extends what Adobe is doing in the content management area into acquiring UGC and social media content, not just Twitter and Facebook, but from any other source, YouTube, Instagram, Vimeo—you name it."

Yet, in a blog post, Jordan Kretchmer, CEO and founder of Livefyre, noted that Livefyre is already integrated into AEM, but he is looking forward to working with the teams across Adobe to bring the power of UGC to every digital marketing and content experience.

"As an independent company in our corner of the world, I can proudly say that we have accomplished what we set out to do," Kretchmer said. "So over the last several months I turned my attention towards deciding on the next big move for Livefyre, and how we could continue to grow the impact we create with our customers. It turns out I needed look no further than our closest partner, and recent investor."

Livefyre customers, many of which are joint customers with Adobe, include CNN, The Coca-Cola Company, Cox Media Group, Dow Jones Wall Street Journal, Hallmark, Huff Post Live, Intel, Kimberly-Clark, Major League Baseball, Mashable, National Geographic, News Corp, the PGA Tour, Sears, Tourism Australia, Univision and Warner Music Group. Livefyre has offices in San Francisco and New York.

"I think this deal is a differentiator for Adobe and it establishes them in a lead position in a different light from most digital marketing companies," Webster said. "And we’ll see more of Adobe playing in this digital content marketing space, I think."