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TripAdvisor Misses Q2 2014 Estimates — But At Least Ad Revenue’s Up

TripAdvisorearningsTripAdvisor painted a muddled picture during its Q2 2014 earnings call. The travel booking site’s overall profits came in far below estimates. But ad revenue was a bright spot for TripAdvisor, which saw an increase in both click-based and display ad revenue this quarter.

Click-based ad revenue increased year-over-year to $235 million, up 28%, while display revenue grew 19% to $37 million.

The company’s CFO Julie Bradley attributed the uptick in click-based revenue to “strong CPC pricing for meta search leads.” (In February of last year, TripAdvisor had rolled out what it refers to as “meta-search,” a Google-inspired feature that eschews the “pop under” ad format in favor of serving search and display results with the hope of raising both the quality and prices of its display ad offerings.)

Total revenue for Q2 2014 was $323 million, a year-over-year increase of 31%, meaning click-based revenue accounted for 73% of its total second quarter revenue. Interestingly, that percentage was down just a smidgen from Q2 last year, when click-based revenue represented 74% of total revenue. The same was true on the display side. Display-based ad revenue comprised 11% of total revenue this year versus 19% last year.

Marketing Services A Bright Star For Neustar Q2 Amid Contract Black Hole

neustar q2Communications infrastructure provider Neustar is in the midst of a change, one reflected in the growing importance of its marketing and security services.

“We’ve succeeded in pivoting in becoming an information services and analytics company,” said Neustar CEO Lisa Hook during the company’s Q2 2014 earnings call.

Neustar reported Q2 2014 results at $237.5 million, a year-over-year increase of 8%. Its marketing services division saw a YoY increase of 19% to $35 million. Combined with its security services ($34 million at a 28% YoY increase), the two divisions constitute a little less than a third of Neustar’s total revenue.

Neustar’s pivot comes at an opportune time. As a whole, the company is in a bit of a bind, facing concerns that it will lose a huge contract as the provider of technology enabling cell phone users to keep their numbers when they switch carriers.

Services related to number portability constituted the bulk of Neustar’s Q2 revenues ($118.7 million, a 6% YoY increase). This impact contract made up 49% of Neustar’s 2013 revenue, and while analysts hammered Hook for a resolution timeline, she couldn’t commit to one.

TubeMogul Updates S-1, Valued At $372 Million

tubemogul cashVideo demand-side platform (DSP) TubeMogul has updated the S-1 it filed in March, saying it will sell 7,187,500 shares at a suggested offering price of $13 per share. Read the S-1. TubeMogul hopes to raise $93 million and will now take this offer to potential IPO investors - "the roadshow" - prior to the company going public.

Given the $13 per share offering price and the 28,685,816 shares of common stock outstanding once the company goes public, its valuation is expected to be $372 million.  Though not a perfect apples-to-apples comparison, this is a slightly lower valuation to the rumored $500 million acquisition price of LiveRail by Facebook.


More Money For MediaMath: Ad Tech Firm Nets $73.5M After Three-Year Funding Hiatus

mediamath joeMediaMath received $73.5 million in Series C funding, led by Spring Lake Equity Partners, bringing its total to $175 million.

The ad tech company will devote the funds to honing its flagship TerminalOne Marketing Operating System product and for global expansion into EMEA, APAC and LATAM markets.

This infusion is MediaMath’s first round of funding since 2011, when it netted $14 million. Company CEO Joe Zawadzki said the company didn’t need any funding for the immediate years following its Series B. Things have changed.

“It got to the point where the opportunities were in front of us from a global growth perspective in terms of investing in overseas markets, in terms of putting folks on site and even engineering resources in international markets to help clients build on top of the platform and help suppliers build into it,” Zawadzki said. These factors, he added, led MediaMath to seek greater investment.


Another Boost For Offline-Online Linking As Datalogix Scores $45M

EricRozaDatalogix nabbed $45 million in Series C funding, led by Wellington Management Company. This latest round brings its total to $111.5 million, according to CrunchBase. The company intends to use the funds to build out its product and attract more clients.

The company’s main business is linking online consumer activity with offline shopping behavior. It is one of Facebook’s major partners, connecting ads on the social network to buying activity.

It also struck a deal with in April to enable lookalike modeling; the deal lets’s CRM clients find within Datalogix’s database consumers whose buying habits mirror the brand’s best customers.


Sizmek’s Q1: Sights Set On Mobile And Video Growth

sizmek 02Ad tech company Sizmek reported Q1 2014 revenues of $38.4 million on Tuesday, a 13% year-over-year increase.

Neil Nguyen, president and CEO, emphasized that the company is expanding and strengthening key areas with an emphasis on mobile and video offerings.

Mobile revenue increased 90% year over year. Sizmek continues to invest heavily in the channel. At the end of Q1, it launched a solution, called Device Intelligence, designed to enable more accurate identification and targeting across handsets, tablets and desktops, Nguyen said. These enhancements are necessary as audiences increasingly engage in mobile devices where third-party cookies are less available.

“We view this as a key component of our platform and mobile strategy,” Nguyen said. (more…)

Conversant’s Q1: Drawing Strength From Cross-Device Deployments

conversantIf the message in ad tech company Conversant’s year-end quarterly was one of renewal following a rough 2013, its Q1 was about stability and sustainability as the company beat the guidance it provided in its Q4 2013 call. This was largely due to improvements in the company’s display business as well as its work in cross-channel client campaigns.

Conversant’s Q1 revenue was $145.9 million, a year-over-year increase of 8%.

Q1 media revenue grew year over year to $103.5 million, an increase of 7%. Media revenues include Conversant’s CRM, mobile, video and cross-channel technologies business along with its display business.

While declines in Conversant’s display business in 2013 resulted in a companywide down period, display picked up this quarter, said CFO John Pitstick. This contributed to Conversant’s growth, Pitstick said: “The main driver of better top-line growth was better performance in our display business.”


Twitter Q1: Emphasis On Engagement Over Views As Ad Revenue Shoots To $226M

twitter earningsTwitter tried to avoid last quarter's narrative, centered around flagging audience growth, in its Q1 call Tuesday; instead, the company emphasized a 28% quarterly increase in ad engagements (specifically retweets and favorites), driven by higher-quality ads and the use of rich media. Such was the overall theme: engagement over timeline views and audience growth. Yet, the fact remains the latter two are still down.

First, the good news: CEO Dick Costolo said user engagement (as well as user growth) drove Twitter's posted Q1 2014 revenue of $250 million, an increase of 119% year over year. This is above the $240 million Wall Street analysts generally expected.

The bulk of revenue comes from advertising, totaling $226 million in Q1, a 125% year-over-year increase. Mobile advertising constituted around 80% of advertising revenue; last quarter, it accounted for 75%.

Ultimately, CFO Mike Gupta said the “strong quarter” was driven by demand in the United States for Twitter’s advertising tools and services, such as Twitter Amplify, around live events (notably the Super Bowl, Olympics, Oscars and Grammys) and improved measuring capabilities.


AdRoll Raises $70m, Turns To Mobile, International Markets

adroll01Retargeting platform AdRoll announced a $70 million funding round, led by Foundation Capital.

The San Francisco-based company, which had previously raised $19 million, has expanded rapidly since launching in 2007 and become a leader in the retargeting space. AdRoll plans to use the investment to beef up its existing platform for mobile, and expand hiring at its headquarters as well as new offices in New York, Dublin and Sydney.

AdExchanger checked in with AdRoll CEO and founder Aaron Bell and President Adam Berke.

AdExchanger: You’ve just received $70 million in funding. Any new investors?

AARON BELL: There’s (Institutional Venture Partners). They’re a leading late-stage growth fund. It’s funded companies like Twitter, Dropbox, Marketo and Omniture. They have an amazing late-stage reputation and are known for their entrepreneur-friendly style.

I’ve known Eric Liaw, who’s going to be joining our board as an observer, for a number of years and he’s always been a great adviser. He has a brilliant mind for metrics, finance and scaling. He’s been very helpful for us.

We also have other late-stage investors such as Performance Equity, Glenmede and Northgate. They are funds that also make later-stage public investments. So they’re helpful in guiding us through the next stages of our company. (more…)

Google Posts Q1 Revenue Increase To $15.42B, Lays Out Future Plans

google q1 2014Google posted a solid quarter, as total revenues for Q1 2014 jumped to $15.42 billion, a 19% increase compared to this time last year.

During its earnings call, Google emphasized its ambitions to extend its value as a brand builder and to close the price gap between mobile and desktop display advertising.

Google also stated that as of Q2, it will further break down cost-per-click (CPC) revenues by splitting out differences in clicks on Google’s owned websites vs. those on its network partners. CPCs as reported in Google's earnings are aggregated.

Google does not exclude the cost of acquiring traffic (ex-TAC) when it reports advertising revenues, though it reported TAC increased to $3.23 billion in Q1 2014 (representing 23% of advertising revenue) compared to $2.96 billion this time last year.

Paid clicks, which Google defines as clicks on ads served on Google or network member sites, increased 26% over Q1 2013. Average CPC decreased 9% from Q1 2013. (more…)