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Viant Sees Huge Opportunity In Netflix, Disney+ Ad Move

Paid Ads Could Be Coming Soon: CMO

Reports of top streaming services Netflix and Disney+ eyeing a move into paid ads means opportunities for advertising software company Viant Technology Inc. in Irvine.

Viant’s (Nasdaq: DSP) Chief Marketing Officer Jon Schulz was upbeat about the Netflix and Disney+ plans to soon offer ad-supported tiers within their currently ad-free content offerings in the Connected TV (CTV) sphere.

“As a leader in CTV advertising, Viant is very well positioned to benefit from this huge influx of CTV ad opportunity,” Schulz told the Business Journal on June 16.

“Big brand advertisers want to be where the eyeballs are,” he said. “And there is no doubt Netflix and Disney are leaders in compelling content,” according to Schulz.

Viant’s self-service Demand Side Platform (DSP), Adelphic, is an enterprise software platform enabling marketers to execute programmatic advertising campaigns across Connected TV, Linear TV, mobile, desktop, audio, and digital out-of-home channels.


Connected TV Gains

Schulz called the streaming platform’s potential move toward paid ads a “huge opportunity for us,” adding he sees “a lot of favorable tailwinds” going forward particularly now that Connected TV may be pulling ahead of the traditional scheduled broadcasting method known as Linear TV.

“In fact, the opportunities may be closer than previously estimated as CTV is set to surpass the traditional Linear TV,” Schulz said.

“Linear TV still boasts the largest market; however, reach is fragmented due to the increasingly competitive TV landscape.”

He added: “This was once thought to be many years away, but these recent announcements by Netflix and Disney really bring this into near-term focus.”


Larger Share

Viant is positioning itself to grab a larger share of the digital advertising market, helping advertising agencies and marketers get placement for their customers across a variety of channels, including desktops, mobile phones, Connected TVs, streaming audio and digital billboards.

The company’s business—known as programmatic advertising—helps marketers and their agencies buy ads anywhere electronically. “Think of us as the E-Trade for ads,” COO Chris Vanderhook has said previously. E-Trade, part of Morgan Stanley, provides an electronic platform for trading assets.


Stock Slide

Viant, founded by the Vanderhook brothers Tim, Chris and Russ, burst out of the gate with shares trading for $64 apiece and a market cap of $3.8 billion after going public in February 2021. The shares have since fallen to about $6 each, pulling the market cap down to $375 million as of June 23.

Revenue in the first quarter ended March 31 was $42.6 million, an increase of 6% year-over-year, while the net loss was $13.6 million for the same period.

“We had a solid first quarter,” Schulz told Business Journal. “We continue to gain market share.”

He said Viant plans to stay at its current headquarters at the corner of Jamboree and Michelson in Irvine near John Wayne Airport “for the foreseeable future.”

The company was advertising for more than 70 positions on its website as of June 17, and it continues to recruit key talent.

Notable new hires include this month’s naming of Dustin Kwan as chief product officer, who started at Viant on June 13.

Kwan has a newly created executive role intended to drive product strategy at the company.

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Kevin Costelloe
Kevin Costelloe
Tech reporter at Orange County Business Journal

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