Telaria Bounces Back On Strength Of CTV Media Players

The programmatic video ad tech provider Telaria earned $55.2 million in 2018, up 26% from the year before, with total profits up 20% to $16.8 million, the company disclosed in its earnings report on Tuesday.

Telaria shares were up more than a third during the day and have now recovered from the company’s earnings report last October, when its market cap almost halved after the company revised down its revenue forecast and said it would lose some ad volume after removing desktop publishers from its platform.

Desktop and mobile revenue has flattened out since it removed many digital media companies, said CEO Mark Zagorski, and desktop will be flat to small amounts of growth in 2019. But the turnaround is driven by connected TV growth, with CTV inventory now accounting for a third of overall revenue, up from just 1% two years ago.

Connected TV, despite being only a fraction of the TV ecosystem, is growing enough to drive Telaria’s business, while it’s still marginal for other vendors. The Trade Desk, for instance, said on its earnings report last week that CTV is only just becoming a measurable part of its business.

But Telaria sees meaningful growth from ad-driven video on demand companies like FuboTV, Pluto or Sling TV, which rely more on programmatic revenue, said CEO Mark Zagorski. Last quarter, the company added media companies like Outside TV and Cheddar, the financial streaming broadcast startup, as well as a deal to manage Hulu’s private marketplace for programmatic inventory.

Having strong roots with the programmatic early adopters in CTV and OTT will pay off as traditional TV advertisers become more data-driven, Zagorski said, and as larger players like Viacom and Disney potentially buy or replicate the tech and revenue models of the first-movers.

There’s also potential growth in CTV because even the most ad-reliant companies don’t want to overwhelm viewers with ads, so CTV ad loads are significantly less than on linear TV, he said. “That means there is a big gap in potential for more ads to be actually flowing to CTV in the future, if those ad loads start to come to parity.”

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