LinkedIn: Display Dips, But Total Marketing Revenue Climbs 32%

LIThe flurry of marketing tools that LinkedIn rolled out last year is paying off for its ad business, said CEO Jeff Weiner during the company’s Q2 earnings call.

Its Marketing Solutions business grew 32% in the second quarter to $140 million.

With 52% of all traffic to LinkedIn coming from mobile, the platform saw a staggering 30% dip in display ad revenue year over year, as CFO Steve Sordello noted a focus on native content marketing and lead generation.

“Weakness in CPM-based premium display sold by our sales force somewhat offset Sponsored Updates strength,” Sordello said. “Our investment continues to move away from display and toward product areas that best leverage our unique data assets to maximize member experience and customer ROI.”

The decrease wasn’t a surprise, Sordello said, because LinkedIn knew its users were shifting to mobile and expected a material hit in display ad revenue. 

LinkedIn’s Sponsored Updates account for nearly 50% of Marketing Solutions’ total revenue, with 80% of the units viewed on mobile.

Although there was no mention of Bizo, the B2B exchange LinkedIn acquired last summer, that’s mainly because it was rolled into a new product called LinkedIn Lead Accelerator.

“It’s an early product for us, but we’ve seen strong demand early on,” Weiner said. “It’s a whole new B2B value proposition we are taking to market, with more focus on retaining customers longer term with more significant renewal rates.”

LinkedIn’s total revenue grew 33% in the second quarter to $712 million, as member growth increased cumulatively 21% to 380 million members; meanwhile, unique visiting members grew 16% to 97 million per month.


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