Veritone, the provider of artificial intelligence (AI) technology and solutions, says it just had its strongest-ever quarter for its advertising business. The combination of organic growth in the podcast marketplace and its August 2018 acquisition of the podcast agency Performance Bridge are now paying off. “Our podcast gross billings were up 39% year-over-year and now nearly equal our broadcast-based business,” said Veritone President Ryan Steelberg. “We are very confident that our investments in this vertical will pay significant dividends in 2020 and beyond,” he told analysts on a conference call. Veritone says it now believes it is the largest U.S. podcast advertising agency.
Veritone reported overall revenue growth of 70% to a record $12.8 million during the third quarter. “Our advertising business continued to deliver outstanding growth, with net revenues in the third quarter reaching a record $6.3 million,” said CEO Chad Steelberg. “Within advertising, our highest growth was in podcasting and YouTube, where our gross billings increased more than 47% on a year-over-year basis.” He said ad sales in podcasts and YouTube accounted for 56% of the company ad-related billings during the quarter.
Looking ahead, Ryan Steelberg said, based on conversations he had at the IAB Podcast Upfront last month, he’s optimistic about the year ahead. “Our initial upfront bookings for 2020 were very strong, leading us to expect additional growth in this business,” he said. “We believe we will again post double digit year-over-year growth in our advertising business in 2020.”
Veritone’s aiWARE ingests and indexes audio and video, which can then be analyzed by podcasters, broadcasters and advertisers looking to measure interactions and exposures. It allows users to target ads programmatically based on the content of an individual podcast episode or video clip. The platform is already utilized by the likes of Art 19, Beasley, Bonneville, Cumulus, Entercom, iHeartMedia, Townsquare and Univision, among others.