The Trade Desk marries adtech with AI to offer 'next wave' of media buying

Overall, the company is pitching ‘the next wave’ platform as a more transparent way for buyers to plan and activate campaigns

The Trade Desk is launching a new set of adtech tools that employ AI to better help advertisers improve efficiencies of their online media buys.

Collectively dubbed ‘the next wave’, the adtech firm’s latest offering has three core products: forecasting utensil Koa; media planning tool The Trade Desk Planner; and a real-time optimization tool Megagon.

Kathleen Comer, vice-president of client services at The Trade Desk told The Drum that while the business has always used AI, it now wants to make it “even more transparent and accessible” for clients.

“We’re merging the best of human and machine, and leveraging big data, AI, machine learning and data visualization to easily and quickly surface valuable insights, giving clients access to massive amounts of data, but distilling it down into one simple screen,” she added.

The first tool, Koa, works by harnessing The Trade Desk’s dataset – which includes 9m queries per-second – to help advertisers optimize their media spend to perform more efficiently, such as extending audience reach.

Meanwhile, The Trade Desk Planner provides buyers with audience insights to help inform strategy. Lastly, Megagon surfaces recommendations that The Trade Desk claims will help buyers save time and budgets by making real-time decisions.

Overall, the company is pitching ‘the next wave’ platform as a more transparent way for buyers to plan and activate cross-channel campaigns plus identify high-value media opportunities before they funnel spend in.

The proposition follows on from 70% of brands saying they're currently amending their media agency contracts to bring clarity to the buying process. In some instances, brands have said they're revising their programmatic spend downwards altogether.

Comer said the move was designed to build "transparent solutions that empower people and machines to work together". This provides advertisers and their agencies "with the ability to see all the data, and the control to decide a strategy based on those insights."

She also added, that the latest updates would help media traders with the Koa tool in particular built to help them make planning and buying decisions informed by data.

“Machine-learning algorithms provide statistical-based predictions for real, data-driven media trading. For example, traders won’t have to worry about manually adjusting for first-price auctions. Instead, algorithms use historical data to precisely value the impression without overspending,” she continued.

“Koa was built to make traders’ decisions easier and faster, but always giving them complete control and full transparency. If a trader selects Koa to automate optimization changes, they have full visibility to these changes in their Activity Log.”

Amid a whirlwind of headlines chronicling trepidation among the adtech sector earlier this year, The Trade Desk beat analyst expectations for Q1posting revenues of $85.7m, an increase of 61% year-over-year.

Get The Drum Newsletter

Build your marketing knowledge by choosing from daily news bulletins or a weekly special.