- The Trade Desk reported a 25% year-over-year revenue increase to $493 million in Q3, per an earnings statement. For the first three quarters of the year, total revenue hit $1.34 billion, up 23% YoY.
- The Trade Desk called out growing support for Unified ID 2.0 (UID2), its attempt to create an alternative to third-party cookies. The solution has been adopted by publishers including Warner Bros. Discovery, NBCUniversal and Walmart Connect, the big-box store’s retail media network.
- Despite the strong earnings, shares dropped around 30% after the company announced that Q4 revenues would be lower than analyst estimates. Executives said the lower guidance was based on advertiser cautiousness as a result of strikes in the auto and entertainment industries.
The Trade Desk’s Q3 earnings suggest that the demand-side platform has benefitted from advertisers kickstarting more digital spending. Co-founder and CEO Jeff Green said that the performance speaks to the premium brands have put on “precision, agility and transparency” in their campaigns.
“As we enter our busiest time of year and look ahead to 2024, we have never been in a better position to capture a greater share of the $1 trillion advertising total addressable market,” Green said in an earnings release. “With the generational shift to [connected TV], the growing opportunity in shopper marketing, our leadership in identity, and our most important product release ever with Kokai, we are better positioned than ever to help advertisers leverage data to drive growth and differentiate their brands.”
In UID2, The Trade Desk hopes to have a viable option for a post-cookie world. The earnings release highlighted the solution’s adoption across a growing number of CTV and streaming services, which has led to improved ad targeting and more efficient spending. The Trade Desk added that Walmart Connect has begun testing the integration of UID2 across its retail media network, opening up a new channel of opportunity for the programmatic company.
However, The Trade Desk’s guidance projected Q4 revenue of around $580 million, about $30 million less than analyst estimates. The patchy outlook led the company’s stock to plunge about 30% in after-hours trading. In its earnings call, Green said the lower guidance was the result of spending reductions due to the strikes in entertainment and media and the automotive sector.
“We saw some reduction in brand spend in verticals such as automotive and consumer electronics, for instance, specifically around cell phones and media and entertainment,” Green said during the call. “Some of these industries have been recently impacted by strikes, such as the U.S. auto industry.”
The United Auto Workers union launched strikes against General Motors, Ford Motor Company and Stellantis in September, and the SAG/AFTRA unions had been striking against the major Hollywood studios since the summer. Those strikes have since been resolved.