CTV, mobile and China to power The Trade Desk's 'land grab' as 2017 revenues top $308m

The shift to automated media buying on connected TVs (CTV) as well as mobile media particularly in China, will be key to The Trade Desk's growth in the near-to-medium future, according to the programmatic outfit, which earlier today (February 22) revealed financial results that pleased investors.

Native ad spend on The Trade Desk's platform grew 587% between 2016 and 2017 / The Trade Desk

Revenues for the final quarter of 2017 were $102.6m, and $308.2m for the entire calendar year, representing a 42% and 52% rise respectively, with gross spend on the platform for 2017 reaching $1.55bn.

Jeff Green, The Trade Desk chief executive officer, described the earnings as “outstanding” and boasted of a client retention rate of 95%, and noted how mobile ad spend on the platform surpassed that on desktop for the first time in 2017.

Speaking to analysts on the company's subsequent earnings call, Green went on to describe its expansion plans in 2018 and ahead, adding that CTV and mobile are the two areas of the business about which he is most bullish.​

"We're in land-grab mode," he stated, adding that China is the one geography where these two areas of the business overlapped and that The Trade Desk's growth there was at least double that of North America. "This is a key piece to The Trade Desk's long-term global growth," stated Green.

Underpinning The Trade Desk's growth ambitions in the region are partnerships with Baidu and Alibaba's YoKu with Green noting that its growth in China easily outpaced that of any of its competitive set.

Active advertisers on the platform number 657, according to the release which also states how the demand-side platform (DSP) now counts “some of the largest brands in the world” among its client roster.

Green went on to claim that such media buyers relish its status as a scaled, independent player and that it had invested substantial amounts into product development, namely to build upon its addressable inventory.

“Our mission has always been to change the way advertising is bought on our software platform, and 2017 marked a year of great strides toward that goal,” he said.

Other statistics highlighted in the release include:

  • Audio grew 648% from Q4, 2016 to Q4, 2017
  • CTV grew 535% from Q4, 2016 to Q4, 2017
  • Mobile video grew nearly 121% from 2016 to 2017
  • Native spend grew 587% from 2016 to 2017

Investors’ initial reaction was positive with The Trade Desk’s share price rising 3% prior to the programmatic media trading platform’s scheduled call with financial analysts.

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