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Catena Media Faces Q2 Revenue Decline Due to Google Changes

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In early May, Catena Media, an affiliate business operating in various geographical markets, reported its first quarter results for 2024, revealing less-than-ideal outcomes. This notable drop was attributed to both the inadequate execution of their business strategy and Google’s recent policy changes. The company, which is active in online sports betting and casino gaming, has also issued a warning about its expected profits for the second quarter of the year.

Catena Media projects a 20.12% decline in Q2 revenue compared to Q2 2023. The company’s leadership pointed to Google’s new organic search policy changes as a key factor reducing the effectiveness of their strategic media partnerships, subsequently affecting both direct costs and revenue. The financial impact of these changes is still uncertain, with the company stating it “could become material over future periods.”

About Catena Media

Catena Media is a prominent global leader in lead generation for online gaming and financial services. Founded in 2012, the company has grown rapidly, leveraging its expertise in digital marketing to drive traffic and generate high-quality leads for its partners. Catena Media operates through a network of websites and social media channels, offering comprehensive reviews, comparisons, and other content that attracts and retains users. By employing advanced SEO techniques and data-driven strategies, the company ensures that its partners receive a steady stream of potential customers who are likely to convert, thereby maximizing their marketing ROI.

In addition to its strong presence in the online gaming sector, Catena Media has made significant strides in the financial services industry. The company provides valuable information and resources on various financial products, including credit cards, loans, and investment services. This dual focus has allowed Catena Media to diversify its revenue streams and reduce reliance on any single market segment. With a commitment to innovation and quality, the company continues to expand its global footprint, adapting to changing market dynamics and technological advancements to maintain its competitive edge. As a result, Catena Media remains a key player in the digital marketing and lead generation landscape.

Impact of Google’s Policy Changes

Google’s policy changes, aimed at redirecting search patterns towards highly relevant and quality content, went into effect in May. These adjustments negatively impacted the rankings of major news media platforms’ casino and sports betting content. Despite this, Catena Media observed some improvements in organic search rankings and higher traffic for several of its owned and operated brands. However, they still anticipate Q2 2024 revenue to range between €12.5 million ($13.3 million) and €13.5 million ($14.4 million), reflecting a significant decrease of around 20% from the same quarter last year.

The adjusted EBITDA for Q2 is expected to be between €0.5 million ($534,000) and €1.5 million ($1.6 million), down from €2.6 million ($2.7 million) in Q2 2023. Due to ongoing organizational changes and a new operating model, the company’s new executive team and board of directors have decided not to issue a new full-year adjusted EBITDA guidance at this time.

The company is getting ready to embed a new product-focused operating model as a means of returning to the healthy business status – Pierre Cadena

Catena Media plans not to renew some of its media partnerships with lower margins, set to expire in the second and third quarters. These partnerships involve more than €1.4 million ($1.49 million) in minimum guarantees per quarter, which are recorded as direct costs in their financial statements. The company also expects to reduce its internal and outsourced content costs by €0.7 million ($747,000) to €1 million ($1.06 million) annually by not renewing these agreements.

By eliminating these high-cost minimum guarantees, Catena Media aims to improve its margins and increase revenue in the second half of the year. Interim CEO Pierre Cadena mentioned that the company is preparing to implement “a new product-focused operating model” to restore its status as a “healthy business.” Despite these anticipated changes and potential proceeds from new divestments leading to a healthier balance sheet, investors reacted negatively, resulting in a 5% drop in shares. Recently, Catena Media appointed Jamie-Grace Farrugia as vice-president of human resources, following the departure of Fiona Ewins Brown.



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