Integral Ad Science Reports Strong Q4 Earnings With CTV Growth
With a focus on measurement and ad verification, Integral Ad Science is pursuing two trends: contextual targeting and connected television (CTV). The company, which reports quarterly earnings, earned $323.5 million last year, an increase of more than a third from 2020. However, Integral’s net loss grew year-over-year as well, from $32 million to $52 million. CEO Lisa Utzschneider told investors that the key focus of the company is ‘growth’.
The recent significant acquisitions have enabled IAS to acquire key technologies, services, and global teams in key growth areas, such as CTV, contextual targeting, social media, and supply chain optimization.
It has now hired over 100 people every quarter, more than any previous quarter. In Q4, IAS’ biggest acquisition, Publica, brought in $7.5 million of total revenue. Publica was acquired for $220 million, the largest of three acquisitions IAS made last year. The Publica business is only 8% of Integral’s total revenue at the moment, but it’s a key component of Integral’s expansion into CTV. Lisa Utzschneider, CEO of IAS joined in late 2018. As stated by AdExchanger that Moat lost shares and customers following its acquisition by Oracle Data Cloud, leaving IAS and DoubleVerify, which also went public last year. To chase the CTV opportunity, however, means competing with other players, such as Nielsen.
Interesting Read: All You Need To Know About Connected TV Advertising!
A CTV ad server, such as Publica, can gather supply-side information, like the app or show in which an ad appeared, or the type of video content, in order to improve ratings for TV campaigns. Many global publishers have chosen Publica to power their ad serving and to accelerate their CTV strategies. These include new integrations with rlaxx TV, VlogBox, and WPSD Local 6 as part of Paxton Media Group.
Utzschneider told AdExchanger, “It’s helping us launch differentiated products that our competitors just can’t build.”
Even though CTV is the biggest growth prospect but counterintuitively programmatic continues to be a tailwind for the business, and it continues to drive accelerated growth. Advertiser-direct, programmatic, and supply-side are the three main revenue areas for IAS. Advertiser direct revenue climbed 7% year over year, including revenue from the open web and social platforms. The fourth quarter’s programmatic revenue increased by 43% year over year. On a combined basis, advertiser revenue accounted for 84 percent of total revenue. The programmatic segment is expected to surpass the advertiser direct segment in the first quarter of 2022 as the largest component of total advertiser revenue.
A key driver for programmatic growth is the company’s contextual advertising product, which directs advertising dollars into brands-safe or brands-appropriate content. It also reconciles campaigns when ads are delivered to inappropriate media for brands. A potential investor asked in the earnings call whether geopolitical tensions (referring to the invasion of Ukraine by Russia) and increased online attention and social media content related to those “events” influence IAS’ interactions with advertisers. Utzschneider said,
“In terms of geopolitical events, our technology and services have never been more relevant. It’s — the relevancy has carried throughout this year, last year, given all of the unprecedented events that we have all experienced. And again, marketers, they continue to lean into our brand safety, brand suitability solutions, especially as we’re seeing that rapid adoption on the social platforms, the dynamic nature of social platforms and also the unpredictability of the content.”
Interesting Read: How Advertisers and Brands Are Responding To The Ukraine Crisis