TTD - new features & AI

Also posted on NPI.…

Koa™ is powerful AI that improves advertisers’ decisioning and accelerates campaign performance. Koa’s robust and transparent forecasting engine is built on The Trade Desk’s valuable data set – including nearly nine million queries every second – to help buyers extend audience reach and spend more efficiently.

The Trade Desk Planner is a data-driven media planning tool that delivers audience insights and informs ad strategies across channels and devices.

Megagon™ is an intuitive new user interface that proactively surfaces tailored insights and offers Koa Recommendations to help advertisers make real-time optimization decisions. Megagon helps buyers save time and advertising budget without sacrificing transparency and control.



CEO Jeff Green on live stream (replay available) from Singapore regarding the announcements.
You can skip to about 3:40 for when he starts speaking.

“biggest product in our history” and “been waiting 2 years for this”

There is sort of a Pivotal-like analogy to what they are trying to do here. Pivotal exists to allow developers more time doing their core craft of coding and building applications, rather than being bogged down with related logistics busywork.

In a similar fashion, TTD aka The Trade Desk is providing these tools to allow traders/media buyers to spend more time working on optimizing and improving their campaigns vs time spent troubleshooting and/or looking for actionable data (sounds a bit like the Alteryx pitch there, too).

Green claims TTD will change media buying in such a profound way as to be akin to how the introduction of the iphone changed the computing landscape (the shift from desktop to mobile).



Thanks for posting that Dreamer.

I like your analogies to Pivotal and Alteryx. If the claims TTD is making about these new products turn out to be correct (and I tend to believe Green against my skeptical nature), there are many things to be excited about.

Beyond your AYX/PVTL analogy, here are a few more. These are the specific ways they are using AI and believe this will add to human insights (i.e. humans still involved in making final decisions).

Predictive Clearing - AI used to combat the move to “first price” auctions that have caused CPM to increase 40% over the past two years. Initial results show a 20% reduction in CPM and will get better over time. This saves big money for their clients.

Identity Alliance - Ability to use any cross device vendor as opposed to picking blindly. Before one cross device vendor was used for all ads. Now can change by impression. This will provide better ads to customers. Think: You won’t be getting the same ads of the same thing all day and on all of your devices.

Audience Predictor - Runs “look alike” modeling (in quotes cause I don’t know what it is). The majority of ad buying is done on searches and this eliminates that. Looks for economic no brainers in the buying landscape and does it.

Recommendation Engine - Machine tells human ideas on what to buy. Predicts how those changes would affect performance and reach of the advertisers.

Remembering TTD is one of the few, and by far and away the leader, in ad tech who only operates on the demand side of the equation, these products are clearly born from that. They are counteracting the supply side in order to provide advertisers with better ROI.

The big question is whether they will remain in the lead. Having spent two years and $100M developing these tools, one would hope their lead can continue. There is a big runway if that is the case.



great stuff, AJ!

you also wrote: “The big question is whether they will remain in the lead. Having spent two years and $100M developing these tools, one would hope their lead can continue. There is a big runway if that is the case.”

I keep going back to Green’s (admittedly biased) prediction that the $1T ad market will eventually be nearly 100% programmatic, and that only about 2% of it is today. That is ridiculous runway. Obviously Google/Facebook/Amazon and their Chinese titan peers will get a lot of that. But for independent DSP, the list is small, and TTD is in the lead.

Supposedly ATT offered/is buying AppNexus for about $1.6b and TTD market cap is closer to $4b. How many other AppNexus types are out there to be bought? Probably very few. So even though some were concerned that ATT would do their own DSP, which means TTD potentially loses a client (this was brought up a year ago, too) I don’t see it as a negative. You still need Disney, and Comcast, and all the other players that will be pushing hard into the CTV space to utilize a DSP, and there aren’t enough companies out there for them to buy and/or they would be better-served to utilize TTD’s superior service anyway.

In general, I view the AppNexus deal, coming immediately on the heels of ATT’s approval to buy TW as validation that a DSP is needed to take that OTT content and monetize a CTV strategy.

I note also that Green decided to do his live stream from Asia, where he reiterated that “TTD is a global company that happens to be based in US” as they push for each office location to be fully imbedded in their local markets and don’t rely on HQ for anything other than the tech for the most part.

A final thing I would say is it is always good to see a company in a leader position continue to push the pedal to the floor and innovate and look to further separate from the pack. Reminds me of SHOP looking at implementing VR to enhance digital storefronts for their clients, etc…

Their price is still way up, but has traded sideways, so I do want to see their Q2 overperform to guard against a post-ER drop. They mentioned that ad budgets tend to get set during Q1, so they should also have a good handle on what to forecast for Q3 and hopefully the overall 2018 guidance is raised again. If they can go from $430m projected to an actual of $500m for 2018 (as an example) that would be approx 65% growth and then you are talking SHOP territory to be growing that fast at that size. Getting a bit ahead of myself there, but that is what I would like to see come to pass for the next 3 ER’s.