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One of the world’s largest media corporations is dipping its toes into the world of social sharing. News Corp, the conglomerate whose holdings include the Wall Street Journal and publisher HarperCollins, has acquired Unruly, an agency known for studying the science of sharing on social media.

According to Adweek, the deal carries a base price of $90 million. If Unruly reaches certain performance incentives, the price tag could rise as high as $176 million.

Unruly’s products give brands the tools they need to program video ads across social media and analyze them once they go live. The agency markets itself on its ability to predict a video’s likelihood to go viral, based on its ShareRank technology and the millions of data points therein. At its self-style “Labs,” Unruly takes a deep look at data science in order to understand what makes viral videos receive thousands of social shares. It often shares its results with us, in order to provide insights about the big branded videos of the day.

By joining forces with its new parent company, Unruly will become a key part of News Corp’s digital ad business. “Unruly is a feisty and creative company with a startup sensibility that fits perfectly with our own approach to developing businesses in the digital age,” said News Corp CEO Robert Thomson in a release.

Unruly will operate as a separate unit that will report to News Corp’s UK branch. It will also retain its current clients. Brands it has worked with include Dove, Activia, and Carlsberg.

More information about the acquisition can be found in a blog post authored by Unruly.

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