Twitter's Future Monetization Drivers

Twitter's revenue growth from long-term future drivers like MoPub, data services, and growth in mobile advertising space will allow the company to grow its monetization.

May 28, 2014 at 11:59PM

Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) has been beaten down due to weak growth in users and user engagement. With that being said, Twitter can grow its monetization in the future and the company can potentially get a bigger chunk from the rapidly growing mobile advertising space.

Ad exchange can grow substantially
Twitter's acquisition of MoPub has paved the way for growth from mobile ads. MoPub enables mobile app publishers to manage, optimize, and earn advertising revenues on mobile devices. MoPub is already a leading mobile ad exchange, and has a reach of more than 1 billion iOS and Android users every month. 

Twitter's management disclosed in the last earnings call that MoPub has 130 billion ad requests on its exchange every month, so it's a very material long-term opportunity for the company. Since Twitter gets 78% of its total users from mobile, having a stellar presence in mobile app marketing space plays into Twitter wheelhouse. And MoPub is already one of the largest in-app mobile exchanges in the world, and one that is sure to grow much bigger down the road.

MoPub has stated before being acquired by Twitter that it was on track to do $100 million in annual revenue, and now that it has been integrated with Twitter newer synergies on mobile advertising should emerge and drive a lot of upside for the company's topline.

Data licensing can be bigger
Twitter generates revenue from data partners by providing its data. And these data licenses enable Twitter's data partners to access and analyze historical and real-time data on its platform. Considering the fact that there are 500 million Tweets every day---the data generated can be a treasure trove for any customer-centric business. 

In the last quarter, data licensing revenues grew 76% year-over-year to $24 million, and makes up slightly less than 10% of Twitter's total revenues. However, Twitter sells its data licensing revenues to only a handful of companies, because the top five data partners made up roughly 73% of Twitter's data licensing revenues, so if Twitter grows its data licensing partners then this business can be a bigger and formidable source of revenue for the micro-blogging company. 

In addition, Twitter recently acquired Gnip, a long-term data partner of Twitter which happens to be a leading provider of social data. Having Gnip inside the company will enable Twitter to do an even better job of collecting public data and delivering valuable information to Twitter's data partners. Twitter will be able to gather more enriched data and provide these data sets to its clientele.

Continued growth of mobile
Twitter gets 80% of its total advertising revenue from mobile devices; this is well in line with other leading social media names. Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) earned roughly 59% of its total ad revenue from mobile last quarter, so social media companies are very well positioned to take advantage of the continued growth on mobile devices. Facebook is only behind Google in terms of mobile advertising revenues, and should be able to sustain its strong revenue growth for the future on the backdrop of mobile advertising revenues. 

According to Zenith Optimedia, mobile advertising is growing 6 times faster than desktop and they are projecting that mobile advertising revenues will grow 50% annually from 2013-2016 driven by the strong adoption of tablets and smartphones across the globe. And even more startling is that Zenith Optimedia is projecting that worldwide expenditure on mobile advertising will grow from $13.4 billion in 2013 to $45 billion in 2016. And thus secular drivers are clearly favoring leading social names like Facebook and Twitter.

The bottom line
Twitter has seen its consumer usage slow down on a per user basis, but overall the number of timeline views continues to be on the rise. The company's accelerating revenue growth in the last quarter is a strong positive and these long-run monetization drivers can provide substantial tailwind to enable the company to grow at high double-digit rates for the near-to-medium term.

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Ishfaque Faruk has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Facebook and Twitter. The Motley Fool owns shares of Facebook. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

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