Podcasting continues to be one of the revenue drivers at Veritone, the artificial intelligence (AI) technology and solutions provider whose optimization capabilities is helping media companies show attribution and effectiveness metrics to advertisers. Vertione says its podcast-related revenue increased 20% during the fourth quarter compared to the prior quarter. And its billings related to work with so-called digital influencers grew 28% between the third and fourth quarters. “Strength and podcast and digital influencers continue to be the primary drivers for our advertising business,” Veritone President Ryan Steelberg said on a conference call with analysts, who said those two businesses accounted for nearly two-thirds of the company’s advertising revenue during the quarter. Overall, Veritone said its ad revenues were up 9% compared to the fourth quarter of 2018 to $6.5 million – a new record for the company.
“We’ve begun discussions with a number of leading podcasters and digital influencers, to explore how they can further monetize their content through licensing,” Steelberg said. “Of course, this is all additive to the various sports and entertainment customers we currently represent.”
Veritone released an advertising platform targeting podcasters, YouTube vloggers, and Instagram influencers called Influencer Bridge last August. The pay-per-performance ad platform is geared toward helping the vast majority of shows that aren’t on the radar of media buyers. To help better connect advertisers and specific shows, Veritone One says Influencer Bridge will leverage its propriety software to listen and understand the content of each podcast episode. That data will also help identify other advertising opportunities in the future. It could also assist in giving ad buyers insights related to brand safety and content transparency concerns.
“Our VeriAds network continued to show tremendous potential as well, highlighted by Influencer Bridge,” Steelberg said. “In Q4, Influencer Bridge had over 2,300 unique digital influencers that generated advertising performance. So far in Q1, we’ve already had over 8,800 unique digital influencers sign up for the Influencer Bridge program, with over 2,100 already delivering advertising performance. We expect to see Influencer Bridge and all of VeriAds drive meaningful acceleration in our advertising revenue growth in 2020.”
Veritone said that its fourth-quarter earnings report topped analyst projections. The company saw a gain of nearly 14% in net revenues to $12.5 million. But the Costa Mesa, CA-based company also slightly lowered its revenue guidance for Q1 of the current year.
For all its progress, Veritone remains a company searching for profitability. In the fourth quarter, the company’s net loss shrank to $14.9 million from $17.8 million a year ago.