The Ozone Project has said that, over the next year, it will triple its London staff from the current level of about 30, in support of new product initiatives that aim to accelerate “four-fold” growth in 2020.
The boost to investment from the group’s four original shareholders – News UK, Reach, Telegraph Media Group and Guardian News & Media – will see people, including staff from TMG and News UK, brought in to boost two main capabilities: commercial and operational teams, to increase Ozone’s access to advertisers; and product and engineering staff, to expand Ozone’s advertising product offering, and provide better insights and targeting.
New developments will include:
Ozone Marketplace – intended as a cleaner, premium publisher alternative to open market programmatic trading, which is currently in beta
The launch of a self-service platform for SMEs and the rollout of new digital display and video formats
Supporting publishers’ standard digital format sales and operations – incorporating all display and video solutions – through an “advertising centre of excellence”, which will be first used by News UK and TMG from 1 January.
The Ozone Project said it had recorded four-fold revenue growth in the past year, although it was unable to provide figures in pounds. The accounts of the business filed to Companies House show that in 2019, it made a loss (negative retained earnings) of £1.64m.
Ozone’s chief executive, Damon Reeve, said: “In the past year, The Ozone Project has seen four-fold revenue growth and is consistently working with all major agencies (both holding companies and independents) representing many of the UK’s biggest advertisers, including P&G, Boots, Lloyds, Lidl, Dunelm, Toyota, Vodafone and HM Government, to name but a few.
“Despite advertisers recalibrating messaging and timings at the start of the initial lockdown, Ozone’s Q2 revenues were the highest to date, and 90% up on Q1’s performance. Year on year, quarterly revenues remain significantly higher than during 2019, with Q4 set to deliver another set of record numbers.”
The Ozone Project was last month named Media Brand of the Year at the Media Week Awards. In June, it was joined by ESI Media – with the Evening Standard and Independent becoming the first new brands to join since it was created.
Dominic Carter, chief commercial officer at News UK, commented: "I'm delighted that The Ozone Project can now accelerate the delivery of its vision and further invest in its suite of products. Ozone has rightly been winning plaudits for its premium programmatic innovation and this investment allows us to draw more deeply on its potential."