While Veritone first got on radio’s radar by using its artificial intelligence (AI) technology to verify that on-air spots ran as scheduled, the company has made a bigger mark by offering advertising attribution products to broadcasters and podcasters. Speaking this week at the 22nd Annual Needham Growth Conference in New York, Chief Financial Officer Pete Collins provided an update to investors about how its growing portfolio of services is being used.
Describing its aiWARE technology as “an operating system for artificial intelligence,” Collins said the Costa Mesa, CA-based company uses 400 different cognitive engines to convert unstructured audio and video content into structured content. “We’re in the business of unlocking video and audio content,” he said, to deliver “meaningful information to the users.”
At radio, its Attribute product has been gaining traction. In addition to verifying that an ad ran, the software also pulls in ratings info from Nielsen along with first party data from the advertiser “about what’s happening in their business,” such as Google analytics data, Collins noted. “Now you can start making real-time correlations about the effectiveness of the advertising spend.” The broadcaster and client can then adjust those spending plans to “realize the maximum return on that advertising.” The Attribution product built on the initial ad verification use case Veritone established with aiWARE early on. “By bringing in Google Analytics, we’re able to demonstrate a much higher level of usefulness in measuring the return for the broadcaster and the advertiser,” Collins explained. Veritone sells Attribute products to broadcasters to help “enhance the overall value” of their spot inventory and to help strengthen their relationship with advertisers.
In a major upgrade, Veritone added geofencing capabilities to Attribute last September. By including geographic location, a broadcaster airing a national ad campaign in multiple markets can set Attribute to only include traffic from specified geographic areas in which the ads ran. The goal is to increase the accuracy of campaign performance analysis for the client.
Veritone reported overall revenue growth of 70% to a record $12.8 million during the third quarter 2019. Its podcast gross jumped 39% year-over-year and nearly equaled its broadcast-based business, Veritone President Ryan Steelberg said during its results call last November.
That month the company underwent a modest downsizing, reducing its headcount from 315 employees to 290. Collins said the reduction stemmed from a realization that it had “more resources than we needed” along with a desire to reduce its cash loss. The cutbacks produced $7million to $9 million in cost savings. It also revamped the company’s structure by reorienting employee teams away from functions and toward better serving Veritone’s primary client categories: media and entertainment and government, legal & compliance. The company is hoping the cost cutting and reorganization will help boost its stock price, which closed at $2.40 Wednesday, down 75% from its 2019 peak at $9.88 in late May.