Demand-side video ad platform TubeMogul reported record Q4 2015 and full year 2015 financial results yesterday, once again beating its own forecasts, as investments in programmatic TV (PTV) and cross-screen planning paid off.
For 2015, total ad spending through TubeMogul was $414.2 million, up 63% vs. 2014 (above the most recent forecast of $406-$408 million), revenue was $180.7 million, up 58% vs. 2014 (above the forecast of $173-$175 million), gross profit was $122.5 million, up 53% vs. 2014 (above the forecast of $117-$119 million) and adjusted EBITDA was $3.4 million, up 31% vs. 2014 (above the forecast of a loss of $1-$3 million).
In Q4, TubeMogul benefitted from strong growth in both its Platform Direct self-service segment, which increased 56% vs. Q4 ’14 and accounted for 73% of total spend (approximately $98.1 million) and its Platform Services managed services segment, with increased 83% vs. Q4 ’14 and accounted for 27% or $36.3 million of total spend. TubeMogul has been proactively shifting its revenue mix to the higher margin Platform Direct model over the last several years.
On the earnings call, CEO Brett Wilson and CFO Paul Joachim noted the strong contributions of the company’s relatively new PTV and cross-screen planning offerings. PTV, which was activated in Q1 ’15 now has annualized run-rate spending of nearly $60 million and accounted for more than 10% of Q4 spending.
Brett said TubeMogul’s PTV offering now allows clients to buy linear TV on 50+ national TV networks. It is still relatively early days for programmatic TV, as our panelists at last December’s SHIFT // Programmatic Video & TV Ad Summit explained, but there are lots of signs of growing momentum. Just last week, NBCU announced programmatic buying would be possible on all its linear TV networks. And yesterday Turner said it is using IBM’s Watson platform to crunch audience data to deliver improved targeting. As more linear TV inventory becomes available with better targeting, DSPs like TubeMogul will be able to offer more choice to clients.
Cross-screen planning is another new, and important initiative that appears to be paying off for TubeMogul. Today’s highly-fragmented media environment means more complexity for ad buyers than ever, which TubeMogul’s cross-screen planner addresses, by enabling buys on linear TV, VOD, OTT and mobile.
Cross-screen planning is only available in Platform Services for now, with availability in Platform Direct planned for first half of 2016. Brett said that 82% of Platform Services campaigns in Q4 incorporated multiple screens. On its own, mobile accounted for 20%+ of total spend in Q4, up 3x vs. Q4 ’14.
TubeMogul also reported strong loyalty and growth in spending among clients, with 82% of Platform Direct spending from clients on board prior to 2015. For Platform Direct clients, 100% of top 10, 92% of top 25 and 90% of top 50 from 2014 continued on in 2015. The average full year spend was $684K vs. $565K in 2014. There are a total of 446 clients using Platform Direct, with 22 new ones added in Q4 ’15.
Outside the financials, TubeMogul also noted progress with its Client Certification Program which has certified 500+ buyers, fraud prevention, for which its now offering proactive refunds to Platform Direct clients where non-human traffic is detected, and recent management hires, particularly in China and Asia.
Overall it was another impressive quarter and year for TubeMogul, burnishing its position as a leading video DSP. With all of the macro industry trends poised to accelerate in 2016, TubeMogul again looks well placed to benefit.