Yahoo! Inc. has just acquired BrightRoll, a company that provides a platform for video advertising, for $640 million in cash.

We’ve covered BrightRoll a number of times, as it’s a company that’s been a big part of the programmatic ad buying space. Programmatic ad buying involves advertisers buying targeted ad slots by bidding on them in real-time.

For example, a viewer watching a YouTube video might be served pre-roll advertising first. Whatever ad they see was the result of a quick, automated online auction that targeted the viewer based on his or her gender, age, preferences, and so on. While this method of advertising isn’t extremely popular as of yet, it’s starting to attract more interest – and it appears it’s certainly appealing to Yahoo.

“Online video advertising is increasingly fragmented across thousands, if not millions, of sites and mobile apps. More so than with traditional broadcast television, advertisers are seeking ways to buy online video advertising at scale across many sites in fewer, simpler transactions,” said Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer in a blog post.

“BrightRoll provides an effective solution, aggregating high-quality publishers together into a unified network and utilizing programmatic advertising to allow real-time buying on the largest set of online video advertising inventory available. BrightRoll’s approach not only benefits advertisers and publishers, but also improves experiences for consumers, through better quality, more relevant advertisements.”

In her post, Mayer added BrightRoll already serves 87 of AdAge’s top 100 U.S. advertisers, all of the top 15 advertising agencies, and all 10 of the top demand-side platforms. BrightRoll also gets about two billion ad requests per day from websites and apps.

In an interview with TechCrunch’s Anthony Ha, Yahoo’s Scott Burke said in the wake of this acquisition, Yahoo will be combining its premium ad inventory with BrightRoll’s programmatic ad platform. However, BrightRoll CEO Tod Sacerdoti said BrightRoll will still keep working with non-Yahoo publishers.

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