Ad spending on SpotX’s platform increased by 42% in 2020 vs. 2019, driven mainly by over-the-top/connected TV clients who now comprise almost 70% of overall ad spending on the platform. SpotX said that after a Covid-driven pullback in Q2, platform spending globally grew 70% in Q4 ’20 vs. Q4 ’19. North America is still the dominant territory for SpotX, accounting for 88% of ad spending in 2020, though EMEA and APAC grew by 107% and 66% respectively in 2020 vs. 2019.
SpotX highlighted device partnerships with Roku, Samsung, Sony, TiVo and Vizio as contributing to the company reaching 70 million CTV households in the U.S. and higher ad spending on the platform. This was up 40% since May 2020 and 67% since December, 2019. The company said it also reaches 25 million EMEA CTV households, which it believes is about half of all ad-supported CTV households in the region. In the U.S., SpotX also cited programmatic solutions it launched in partnership with Project OAR, large pay-TV operators and ad tech and media companies such as The Trade Desk and AMC Networks as driving higher ad spending.
SpotX is the latest media and technology company involved in CTV to report that the fourth quarter was extremely strong. Others include Roku, The Trade Desk, YouTube, Wurl, Tubi and Pixability, among others, all of which reported outstanding Q4 results.
SpotX expects further growth in 2021 as streaming video consumption rises and there’s more adoption of programmatic and addressable TV by media companies. Mike Shehan, co-founder and CEO of SpotX noted “we are definitely seeing verticals like travel return to normalcy.” He added that as “live sports continue to come back online, we expect more brands and agencies will set budgets toward those events.”
SpotX doesn’t expect any significant impact from upcoming Google or Apple privacy changes because most of its business is CTV and addressable TV where first-party data is critical and cookies aren’t used. But Shehan said “privacy is the biggest challenge for both media owners and advertisers…navigating all of the new and revised privacy restrictions can be difficult and we’ve been working with our clients to help them understand how to segment and enable data in a privacy-compliant way.”
SpotX seems well positioned to take advantage of the strong growth ahead for CTV advertising. eMarketer expects CTV advertising in the U.S. alone will jump to $18.3 billion in 2024, up 61% from 2021. Related, MoffettNathanson believes ad spending on YouTube/AVOD, strongly driven by CTV consumption, will increase to $53 billion in 2025, with approximately $17.5 billion of this amount allocated to AVOD.
SpotX is being acquired by Magnite for $1.17 billion in cash and stock, with the deal expected to close in Q2 2021.