LinkedIn's Ad Business Rises As Company Reports Robust Growth

Social Network's 'Marketing Solutions' Revenue Hits $106 Million in Q2

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LinkedIn's ad business is growing a rapid clip.

The company reported strong overall Q2 results this afternoon, with its $534 million dollars in revenue up 47% from a year ago, good enough to beat estimates of $511 million. Its ad business, reported under "Marketing Solutions," kept pace, with revenue from that division reaching $106 million, up 44% from the same period a year ago.

In a call with investors, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner said the company's Sponsored Updates ad product drove revenue for Marketing Solutions, but also pointed to LinkedIn's acquisition of ad-tech company Bizo as an expected source of future expansion.

"We are excited to welcome Bizo and begin investing in creating a broader B2B platform, building on the current success of Sponsored Updates," he said.

The Bizo product will be used to sell ads not only on the LinkedIn platform, but on websites across the web.

LinkedIn still makes most of its money on its recruiting solutions, but the company now appears willing to invest the resources necessary to substantially grow the marketing and sales solutions sides of its business as well.

On top of the Bizo acquisition, LinkedIn today released a new product geared primarily towards salespeople, with uses for b-to-b marketing teams as well. The product, a standalone version of LinkedIn's Sales Navigator product, surfaces relevant information -- including news stories, blog posts and status updates -- about people and companies sales reps are trying to sell to.

"Both underscore the opportunities we have to continue building a scalable, diverse business that adds value for our members and customers," said Mr. Weiner, referring to the moves.

With both Facebook and Twitter reporting strong results over the past week, the pressure to keep pace moved to LinkedIn today and it answered strongly. The company's stock is up nearly 8% in after hours trading.

"LinkedIn beats on earnings, following Facebook and Twitter. Thinking there's something to this whole social thing," said Jason Stein, president of social media agency Laundry Service, in a tweet following LinkedIn's report.

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