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DoubleVerify’s Stock Tanks On Weak 2024 Guidance

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To have tuned into DoubleVerify’s first quarter earnings call on Tuesday afternoon is to have entered an alternate universe.

One in which DV’s client, Forbes, never operated an MFA subdomain that went undetected for seven years. One where DoubleVerify didn’t (bafflingly) grace X with a 99.9% brand safety score after apparently misreporting X’s brand safety rates for five months.

And one where there isn’t increasing scrutiny and skepticism of gaps in third-party ad verification and brand safety measurement in general.

Or, at least, none of these issues came up even once during DV’s hour-and-a-half-long Q1 earnings call.

Choppy waters

Instead, management highlighted growth opportunities for measurement across social media and streaming platforms, while investors harped on the company’s weak guidance.

Although DoubleVerify reported $141 million in total Q1 revenue, a 15% YOY increase that was slightly ahead of its forecast, the company lowered its guidance, which drove its stock down by more than 36% in after-hours trading.

DoubleVerify adjusted its full-year 2024 revenue guidance down from 22% to 17% “primarily due to uneven spending patterns” among a subset of large retail and CPG advertisers, CFO Nicola Allais told investors.

Some of these clients, which Allais didn’t name, “are going through corporate restructuring and other items that are leading them to tighten their cash spend,” he said. He demurred, however, that their pullback will spread to other clients or has anything to do with the broader macroeconomic environment.

“This is really specific to these advertisers,” Allais said.

Meanwhile, DoubleVerify expects most of its growth this year to come from new and existing customers allocating more ad spend to social and CTV, both of which monetize at a lower rate than the open web.

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But there’s potential for growth over time.

“While we earn a lower fee in social media measurement today, we see a significant opportunity to upsell our social activation and optimization capabilities going forward,” Allais said.

What’s up with Scibids?

Beyond hyping social video and CTV – which DoubleVerify CEO Mark Zagorski called “two of the fastest-growing media environments” – DV also shared a brief update on Scibids, the AI startup it acquired last year.

Scibids uses a mix of predictive and generative AI to analyze the signals generated by a demand-side platform. Advertisers can use these signals to automate and optimize their programmatic bids across buying platforms.

According to Zagorski, Scibids adoption is growing among existing customers and also attracting new ones, including 19 DSPs and “numerous large advertisers.”

When buyers use Scibids, Zagorski said, they see an average return on investment of roughly $4 for every $1 spent.

“Marketers currently spend nearly a quarter of their time manually optimizing campaigns,” he said. “This is a process AI can significantly streamline and improve, enhancing overall marketing efficiency and effectiveness.”

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