Twenty years ago, the word “Google” was one of the Seussian variety—that is, a word that sounds like it belongs in a children’s book instead of one plastered along the walls of a Fortune 500 Silicon Valley-based company. However, it is no secret that Google has emerged as a tech titan in a world full of cutting-edge competitors that stop at nothing to outmaneuver one another at every turn, whether it is parent company’s Alphabet Inc.’s firm entrenchment in the top 15 of the Fortune 500 since its creation in 2015 or the company’s arrival to the trillion-dollar company club in 2020, there is little debate that Google has ruled the tech industry with an iron fist.
Last year, Alphabet Inc. made an astonishing 181.69 billion dollars in U.S. revenue, a figure largely generated by Google’s 146.9 billion dollars in digital advertisement revenue. Google’s dominance in the digital ad market is unquestionable – however, call it a chimera, a pie in the sky, or what have you may. However, there is a new upstart competitor in Silicon Valley ready to enter the ring with Google.
Founded in 2009 by CEO Jeff Green, Trade Desk Inc. is a tech company used by digital ad buyers to purchase advertisements on websites. Essentially, Trade Desk acts as an electronic “your ad here” billboard that you might see on the side of a highway; however, instead of the ad space being on the side of the road, it is on your favorite website. Since its creation in 2009, Trade Desk has been designated as one of Forbes’s 10 most promising companies and has partnered with Facebook and OpenRTB, amongst other household names.
According to Jounce Media, an ad-tech consulting firm, the startup has made a name for itself by taking up 8% of the business in the market that Google dominates roughly 40% of. Nevertheless, Trade Desk’s market share is growing faster than ever.
By investing in advertising segments in the audio and streaming space, Trade Desk has created an inroad for itself in a market that Google has not already cornered. Enter the Coronavirus pandemic—In 2020, Americans consumed more digital media than ever before while they were weathering the pandemic. As such, brands focused their advertising campaigns on digital advertising, and Trade Desk’s revenue skyrocketed by 26% from the previous fiscal year.
Investors saw Trade Desk as a COVID-proof business, and the company has a stock that has tripled in share value and a 30-billion-dollar market capitalization to show for their success. While Google will never have a shortage of marketers’ dollars due to their own platforms, like YouTube and Search, Trade Desk’s meteoric rise is no fluke and indicates that Google’s firm grip on the market may be slipping.
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