Wilk had been with Microsoft since 2015, where he helped lead the company into new relevance in advertising. Microsoft owns the ad tech platform Xandr, LinkedIn and Bing, and last year Microsoft struck a partnership with Netflix to become a preferred seller of ads for the streaming giant. Last year, Netflix hired Gorman and Naylor away from Snap as the streaming giant is building up its own ad operations while teaming up with Microsoft.
Snapchat reported $4.6 billion in revenue in 2022, a 12% increase compared to the prior year, most of which came from ads. Like the rest of the ad industry, Snap has been affected by the tightening economy. In the fourth quarter of 2022, Snap’s revenue was flat year over year at $1.3 billion. Snap is trying to rebuild its ad platform to adjust to changing data-sharing rules on Apple, which has restricted access to tracking and marketing data. Snap also has more competition from apps such as TikTok.
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Snap has reformed its ad team in recent months with two new heads of ad sales: Ronan Harris in Europe, Middle East and Africa, and Ajit Mohan in Asia. Luke Kallis is the VP of U.S. ad sales, and Matt McGowan is Canada general manager. Kallis and McGowan will report to Wilk, a Snap spokesperson said by email.
Snap’s advertising plans are to develop new measurement infrastructure, so direct-response, performance marketers can invest ad dollars and still track the effectiveness of campaigns. This has become a common challenge in mobile advertising, as Apple restricted data, and Google is expected to follow suit with the updates it is testing in the so-called “Privacy Sandbox.”
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Snap has said that two-thirds of its advertisers are direct-response marketers, as opposed to major brands, which typically have different goals. Snap is building alternative ad tech to provide signals to marketers such as through a conversions API (CAPI)—application programming interface—and Snap is integrating with data clean rooms, which are becoming ubiquitous among media partners and brands.