Xandr, AT&T’s data-enabled technology platform, has revealed its Q2 2021 earnings showing accelerated growth in the first half of 2021 with video spend doubling year-over-year and CTV growth exceeding 200 per cent in H1.
In the busy quarter, Xandr debuted first-of-its-kind technology, forged strategic alliances to streamline audience-based advertising across premium digital and TV, and announced the extension of long-standing relationships with leading global media companies, advancing Xandr’s position in an increasingly complex global media landscape.
With analysts predicting industry digital video and CTV spend to grow 28.1 per cent and 34.8 per cent in 2021 respectively, Q2 spend on Xandr’s platform in these areas was impressive. Total digital video spend on Xandr’s platform – globally, across Xandr Invest’s DSP and Xandr Monetize’s SSP and ad server – grew 125 per cent YoY in Q2 2021 and 101 per cent YoY in H1 2021. The primary driver of this video spend growth across the platform is CTV, with total global platform spend up 180 per cent in Q2 YoY and 203 per cent in H1 YoY. Video represents 39 per cent of overall spend on Xandr’s platform as of the end of the second quarter of 2021.
Growth in international platform spend is contributing significantly to Xandr’s overall global platform growth. Total platform spend in Xandr’s markets outside of the United States grew 76 per cent in Q2 YoY and 53 per cent in H1 YoY, with video spend up 127 per cent in Q2 YoY and 96 per cent in H1 YoY, and CTV spend up 277 per cent in Q2 YoY and 278 per cent in H1 YoY.
In a world where advertising must prove its worth, marketers are increasingly relying on Xandr Invest to demonstrate outcomes and validate return on ad spend. Global spend on Xandr Invest grew 66 per cent in Q2 YoY and 50 per cent in H1 YoY, with spend specifically on CTV jumping 158 per cent in Q2 YoY and 177 per cent in H1 YoY, as Xandr scales strategic relationships through the demand chain, from agencies and holding companies to brands and direct marketers.
As a result of growing direct integrations with premium video publishers, CTV inventory is increasingly available and monetized through Xandr. Global spend on CTV inventory, through Xandr Monetize, grew 337 per cent in Q2 YoY and 362 per cent in H1 YoY.
Additionally, spend through Xandr’s data-driven TV Platform, inclusive of Invest TV, grew 18 per cent in H1 YoY, double that of the broader linear TV industry.
Xandr Curate was launched in 2020 and has grown dramatically in 2021.
While Xandr’s internal teams deploy Xandr’s curation platform to source premium video inventory at-scale for its clients, Xandr’s customers are also rapidly adopting the technology to build their own curated media offerings. Premium data owners, next generation data management platforms, contextual specialists, agency holding companies and publishers all leverage Xandr Curate to offer proprietary inventory packages to buyers, layered with unique targeting or commercial advantages.
Xandr Curate is now a major channel of demand for Xandr Monetize. In the first half of 2021, third-party curation activity grew three times as fast as Xandr’s own curation business, boasting 15 days of record spend in June. At the end of H1 2021, spend through Xandr Curate, across Xandr-managed and third-party curation, represented 13 per cent of spend through Xandr Monetize.
Xandr plans to continue to invest in Xandr Curate in the second half of the year, adding powerful capabilities to help customers grow their businesses in this new segment.
In Q2, Xandr made two important platform announcements for the unification of audience-based advertising in TV and digital. The first was an alliance with OpenAP to enable buyers using Invest TV to reach scaled, deduplicated audiences across the largest television programmers through one automated RFP workflow.
Following closely, Xandr announced the launch of a first-of-its-kind technology that enables the largest TV distributors to better manage and sell addressable inventory holistically. Building on Xandr’s leading forecasting capabilities, Yield Analytics’ converged inventory analysis unifies audiences and ad systems across linear addressable and OTT, so sellers can maximise total yield and buyers can meet KPIs and deliver campaigns in full.
In Q3 2021, Xandr will focus on enabling more-unified buying strategies and workflows across TV and digital.
Another highlight of Q2 2021 were announcements of contract renewals and expansions with global publishers Axel Springer and Microsoft – relationships grounded in the values of publisher control and platform transparency, in an open online ecosystem.
Looking ahead, Xandr will continue to approach shared industry challenges collaboratively, particularly in the area of identity, to provide diversified, often-interoperable identity solutions in order to meet the needs of a broad industry and dynamic stakeholders.