Trade Desk Jumps 24% In Q4: Cites CTV Growth, Targets TV's Upfront

Demand-side platform The Trade Desk posted a 24% gain in revenues to $395.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2021, with connected TV buying continuing to be its fastest-growing revenue performer.

“Last year, more than 15,000 advertisers spent on CTV on our platform, and we saw the number of advertisers that spent over $1 million in CTV almost double, compared to 2020,” says Jeff Green, chief executive officer of The Trade Desk, in prepared remarks during the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call.

For the year, Trade Desk gross ad spend on its platform grew 47% to $6.2 billion in 2021. It continues to tout high advertiser retention -- over 95% during the fourth quarter and throughout 2021.

With the Trade Desk seeing continuing growth with connected TV-focused marketers, Green says a wider range of TV upfront selling activities is in its sights.

“And as we enter this year’s upfront season, I expect we’ll continue to see large TV companies further prioritize CTV as part of that process. Indeed, The Trade Desk has already been invited to participate in some of the digital upfront programs this year,” although Green did not provide specific details.

On Tuesday, The Trade Desk said it has launched a new supply-side product, called OpenPath, where content owners from TV and across the web can plug into The Trade Desk directly. Green says this will help publishers/content owners who want to do their own “yield management.”

“We are not competing with SSPs or becoming an ad network,” he says. “We represent the advertisers in the auction. Our goal is to provide a high bid directly to publishers and content owners... OpenPath is simply a direct path into inventory.“

In November, The Trade Desk expanded its partnership with NBCUniversal, adding Peacock to its CTV platform. The inventory includes Peacock video on-demand inventory from NBC Sports, NBC and Sky News, NBC Next-Day Prime, Peacock originals, and library content.

It expects first-quarter 2022 revenue to grow 38% to $303 million.

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