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Technology the Trade Desk Programmatic

Mobile gains help The Trade Desk’s revenue growth roar 54% to top $72m

By Sean Larkin | Programmatic Reporter

August 10, 2017 | 5 min read

The Trade Desk continues to defy the wider industry trend of publicly listed adtech companies experiencing a tough time in terms of revenue fluctuations and share price value: Its third quarterly results as a public company came in at $72.8m.

The Trade Desk

The company expects revenues of $303m for the full-year 2017

The numbers released today (August 10) represent a 54% year-over-year increase (albeit this compared to 93% growth for the same period 12 months ago) with the company reporting significant increases in mobile and video ad revenue – important factors when it comes to analysts evaluating the stock price of such outfits.

Revenue from in-app mobile ads grew 87% year-over-year during the period, with video ads on such devices also growing 171%, while connected TV ad revenue also grew 167%, according to the company, which also reported customer retention remained at over 95%.

Commenting on the results in a press release, Jeff Green, chief executive of The Trade Desk, said: “During the quarter, our momentum continued with strong customer wins, international growth was robust again, mobile continued to lead our growth, along with strong results in native and audio. We also are excited to have opened our newest office in Shanghai.”

The filing also contains forward guidance, with Green’s statement claiming that the company expects revenue of $303m for the full-year 2017, up from its earlier $291m estimate, with $76m of that sum to be generated in the third quarter.

The company is poised to host a quarterly earnings call where it will face questions from investors as to how it sees its near-to-mid-term future (see more here).

The Drum recently caught up separately with senior members of The Trade Desk’s leadership team with Brian Stempeck, chief client officer, claiming the current industry-wide scrutiny on digital was a healthy sign, and some of the more apparently negative signs were not necessarily as they may seem.

“We are seeing more large advertisers demand transparency from adtech and media overall. I think part of that is due to the fact that programmatic has gotten a lot bigger,” he said.

Stempeck doesn’t see the recent foreboding measures taken by brands such as Procter & Gamble (itself a Trade Desk client) and Morgan Chase – both of whom pulled significant digital ad spend and reported little or no negative commercial impact – as an outright statement of them abandoning digital.

“They’re raising the bar in terms of what they’re demanding. They’re saying, 'I want quality inventory, transparency and [to know] exactly what I’m buying,'” he said.

“Sometimes I think that digital pays a little bit of a tax in terms of it’s so measurable, to the point where it gets over-measured. For instance, with broadcast TV, how much can you measure when someone is DVR'ing a show, walks out of the room, mutes the set or is looking at their phone?

“If those things were measured, would we be looking at the media news and seeing headlines like: ‘TV has a major muting problem!’?”

Commenting later on the much touted industry cull that is expected in the wake of such a transparency investigations (even among fellow adtech companies on different sides of the supply chain), he said: “If you take that to the broader supply chain, then everyone has to disclose the fee they’re taking. So I think you’ll see that from DSPs, SSPs and data companies, you’ll see that every step has to justify what they’re taking.”

Speaking separately with The Drum, chief executive Jeff Green outlined The Trade Desk's plans for expansion in Asia. He said: “Our argument has been that the global advertising market is a $650bn pie and two-thirds is outside North America, yet at The Trade Desk almost 90% of our revenue is from North America.

“So with all the GDP growth in Asia and the fact that two-thirds of the world lives in Asia, it’s not a surprise that our growth rate in places like Asia is almost triple the US. I don’t think data could be more clear where we should be investing. It is also a mobile-first market, so it’s a no brainer.”

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