Outbrain is going public
This is a single insight from This Week in Apps #71 - It's IPO Season Again. Check out the full article for more insights.
Last summer, we saw a slew of mobile-related IPOs, a few of which I covered in this newsletter. Well, summer's here and so is a fresh batch of back-to-back IPOs in our space.
The first is Outbrain, which goes public as I'm writing this. Outbrain is a 15-year-old ad network that promotes content within other content. Its core is in web ads, but as more content (news, etc.) shifted to mobile apps, so did Outbrain did
Today, Outbrain offers an SDK to app developers who want to monetize their apps with native ads. Outbrain's future growth depends a lot on how many apps this SDK is in, which apps those are, and what's churn like.
Using our SDK Intelligence, we can answer all of these questions.
- How big is Outbrain's reach? Outbrain's mobile SDK is installed in a little more than 800 iOS and Android apps as of right now. It leans a bit more towards Android (~60%), but that's pretty common with ad SDKs. While 800 may seem low for an ad network, we have to keep in mind that Outbrain isn't a traditional ad network and has a very specific focus on content. This limits its allure for app makers but increases its efficiency for advertisers. As important as how many is who...
- Who's showing ads? Content goes after content, which is why we see Outbrain available in CNN's app across both platforms. It's also installed in hundreds of other news apps, both local and international, including ABC, Sky News, and some Fox properties. Notably absent is Fox News' main app. That's because it churned...
- How many eyeballs is that? Quite a few! So far, in 2021, the apps Outbrain is installed in were downloaded by more than 33M people all around the world. The majority of downloads, roughly 57%, came from India, the U.S., Brazil, the Philippines, and France, but the long tail is long, stretching across the globe and giving advertisers who choose Outbrain a very global reach.
- What about churn? There isn't much of that. Well, not recently, at least. In 20201, Outbrain was uninstalled (aka removed) from just about 50 apps. Churn is pretty common as apps change business models, and this is a fairly low number. Rewinding a bit more shows higher churn, but now that Outbrain is public confidence in its ability to deliver revenue is likely to climb.
I'm no financial advisor, so I can't tell you if this is a good or bad buy, but what I do think is that while Outbrain is still predominantly web-based, it's got a foothold in mobile that will be hard to unroot. There's a lot of growing it needs to do, and it's not just a matter of making sales but rather evolving its ad formats and SDK offering. How they execute on those will indicate how good of a buy the stock is.
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All figures included in this report are estimated. Unless specified otherwise, estimated revenue is always net, meaning it's the amount the developer earned after Apple and Google took their fee.