Bertelsmann Buys Digital Marketer Smashing Ideas For Random House

Bertelsmann AG has acquired digital media agency Smashing Ideas, Inc. for its Random House division. While the match between an established book publisher and a digital marketer seems curious at first glance, Random House and Smashing Ideas have been partners since last fall. Plus, the deal reflects the changes in book publishing and marketing in the age of apps and e-books.

Within its range of digital marketing, Smashing Ideas has an ePublishing group, which is headed by the co-creator and developer of the Alice for iPad, which is the Lewis Carroll story that comes complete with interactive illustrations.

Smashing Ideas and Random House’s collaboration has been focused around developing a series of apps aimed at kids. Before the partnership was struck, Random House already had set up a small unit to create books tied to new and existing video game titles in an attempt to to broaden its book publishing and digital offerings. The first two apps from their partnership, Wild About Books and Pat the Bunny, both hit number one in the books category in the Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) App store.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Smashing Ideas, which opened its doors in 1996 and never took on any venture capital, will continue to operate independently out of its Seattle headquarters. In addition to building on its work with Random House from within, it will continue to work with outside clients.

“The beauty of our relationship with Random House is that we will stay an independent company. The entire management team is staying on with no changes to our existing roles…mine included.,” Smashing Ideas CEO Steve Jackson told paidContent in an e-mail. Release