It's worth noting that the TV assets brought in half of DG's roughly $400 million in revenues in 2012. Although TV remains so much larger from a spending standpoint than online, the potential is limited from a technology perspective, Nguyen has said. For example, DG provided ad serving to TV, and as the media world moves toward greater automation in processing ad sales, demand for such "plumbing" will fall off.
Plus, there is an expectation of a roughly five-year wait for the "convergence" of online and TV advertising to become a significant business. DG felt its time would be better spent building a focused digital business.
Perhaps more than those factors, the sale of its TV assets to Extreme Reach will ease DG's debt burden after acquiring a succession of digital ad platforms, including MediaMind for $414 million, rich media firm EyeWonder for $66 million and semantic ad-technology provider Peer39 for $15.5 million.
Among DG's priorities is growing the analytics offering at Peer39, which posted a 36% gain in revenues.
As DG concentrates its efforts on North America and the APAC countries, the company is starting to experience some weakness in Latin America, offsetting growth in places like Australia. And there remain other imbalances that need to be addressed.
"We did have some sequential declines in Latin America, as clients began to focus more on social and other video channels, which impacted DG's display business there," Nguyen said. "In North America, the agency side of the business has been strong, but there has been some difficulty on the publisher side. Nevertheless, there's a trend from publishers moving from serving their own video ads to using third parties like DG. Between that, and greater traction with [consumer packaged goods] marketers and auto companies, we expect to see greater benefits and revenue growth."
Hoping to demonstrate that DG can make a successful transition from TV to online-only, Nguyen pointed to a deal with Nissan for its integrated online video platform. Additionally, Toyota worked with DG on a brand campaign in Q3, involving dynamic creative optimization.
"So far, online revenues for auto vertical are up 33% and we are optimistic about our ability to grow our footprint with auto advertisers," Nguyen said.