The Trade Desk hires ex-Nielsen exec as first-ever CRO
By tapping Jonathan Carson, the company signals a bet on connected TV for continued growth
By tapping Jonathan Carson, the company signals a bet on connected TV for continued growth.
Ad tech darling The Trade Desk has hired Jonathan Carson as its first-ever CRO, the company said on Tuesday. Carson, a digital media veteran with more than two decades of experience, arrives after leaving Vevo, where held a similar title.
The Trade Desk has seen rapid and wide-scale adoption from advertisers since going public three years ago, and has grown its revenue nearly 55 percent, from $308 million to $477 million, between 2017 to 2018. The company provides software for agencies and marketers to make programmatic ad buys across areas such as display, mobile and audio.
Although the The Trade Desk is on a run, it also faces the challenge of maintaining that growth every three months. Carson, who was previously CEO of Digital at Nielsen, is banking on both the connected TV space and international expansion to sustain such growth.
“Those are two areas where I’ve spent a good portion of my career," Carson says. “If you look at places where this company can see huge growth, it’s the opportunity around connected TV and international expansion."
Specifically, Carson says that opportunity resides in ad budgets shifting away from linear TV and toward the connected TV space. “Because connected TV is so nascent, we have the opportunity to construct a transparent, fair ecosystem from day one, as opposed to falling into some of the traps digital or display went through in their first few cycles,” he adds. “The connected TV market is going to look much more like the digital advertising market than the linear TV market.”
Connected TV’s end game is providing both the technology and scale to programmatically target viewers with video ads on the screen in their living room as to the one in their pockets.
While connected TV is a promising growth area, The Trade Desk is not without its challengers. Companies such as AT&T and Disney who own all the content would much rather prefer marketers buy through their own platforms. Yet Carson argues that such big players will work with The Trade Desk because of the demand it can potentially generate with its roster of agencies and marketers who use its platform.
“At the end of the day, sellers are responsive to what the buyers want,” Carson says. “Our proposition to buyers is that we represent them in a completely unconflicted way that many of which will take us up on … My feeling is that will open inventory [from the content providers].”