The Trade Desk's First Earnings Report Shows Growth; Dissecting Facebook's Election Influence

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Reporting For Duty

The Trade Desk reported earnings for the first time yesterday, showing an 84% year-over-year increase in revenue this quarter with $53 million. It’s a good number, but percentage growth is a figure that will naturally decline and which doesn’t overawe Wall St. “They’ve got a lot of risks that won’t be fully appreciated by most investors because in general investors don’t tend to understand the space,” Pivotal Research analyst Brian Wieser told AdExchanger when $TTD hit the market. And company founder and CEO Jeff Green did preface reporting with an extended (for an earnings call) ad tech overview  – perhaps you’ve heard of application programming interfaces? – and programmatic trading’s value prop. After fielding a question on header bidding from RBC managing director Mark Mahaney, Green began with an explainer on the waterfall and moved on to unified auctions before, eventually, getting around to the question. “A lot of esoteric nuance in that answer,” he said, almost apologetically, after explaining how header bidding had effectively boxed out non-scaled competitors.

Pointing Fingers

Facebook denies it’s a media company, but it’s influence on this year’s election proves otherwise. Forty-four percent of American adults access news through Facebook, Bloomberg reports. “You had a whole set of media having influence without really having authority,” said Ed Wasserman, dean of the UC Berkeley School of Journalism. “And the media that spoke with authority, the authority that comes after careful fact checking, didn’t really have the influence.” Ex-Facebook product designer Bobby Goodlatte agreed. “News feed optimizes for engagement,” he wrote. “As we’ve learned in this election, bullshit is highly engaging.” Twitter, on the other hand, allowed Trump to communicate with the public “constantly and without an editor.” More.

Now What?

Advertisers are concerned about the tax and privacy implications of Trump’s win, Alex Bruell writes for The Wall Street Journal. A Republican win would typically mean more lax data sharing and privacy rules, but Trump isn’t your average Republican. “All of us are trying to look into a cloudy crystal ball,” said Dan Jaffe, EVP of government relations at the ANA. Jaffe guesses “Donald Trump, being a businessman, will not be someone who thinks putting massive restrictions on advertising is a good idea.” Holding company executives, however, expect a Q1 slowdown in ad spend. “Uncertainty is bad for ad spending growth,” says Jonathan Barnard, head of forecasting for Publicis Groupe’s Zenith. More at Adweek.

Big FAN

Facebook has aggressively expanded Audience Network this year – first by adding mobile web inventory to its voluminous in-app supply, and later with additions like non-Facebook user targeting and header bidding. The play is working, writes Marketing Land columnist and Nanigans manager Andrew Waber. The more Facebook can get off-property inventory to return news feed-like results, the more it can cut out everybody else [AdExchanger coverage]. “While Audience Network may not be able to competently replace all of your current programmatic budgets quite yet, it’s moving past constraints that capped its potential impact.” More.

From Russia With Love

Russia’s communications watchdog has upheld a ban on the use of LinkedIn in the country. The business networking platform, which has 6 million users in Russia, violated a law that requires sites to store personal data about Russian users on Russian servers. The law, introduced in 2014, has never previously been enforced. LinkedIn argued in a statement that the ban has the potential to disrupt economic growth for “the millions of members we have in Russia and the companies that use LinkedIn to grow their businesses." The ruling shows Western Europe’s conservatism on privacy and data sharing and its antagonism to Silicon Valley’s tech dominance is easily capable of spreading east. More at Reuters.

But Wait, There’s More!

 

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