Ad Tech Layoffs, Furloughs Continue; Companies Look Ahead to Q3 and Beyond

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OpenX confirmed this week that it has laid off, furloughed or reduced hours for 15 percent of its employees, becoming the latest industry player to report such measures in the wake of the ongoing global health and economic crises.

The company said most of that 15 percent consists of layoffs and furloughs, and that the number of people whose hours were cut was small. OpenX also announced a reduction in salaries for its leadership of 15-20 percent.

These cuts reflect the projected long-term reduction in marketer spend, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Already, ad revenues have declined markedly, and many in the industry believe it will be a long road back to 2019 levels.

OpenX is not alone in its realignment and cost reduction efforts as the ecosystem adjusts to this new reality. In early April, TripleLift reportedly eliminated 7 percent of its global staff, along with additional unspecified furloughs.

Both of the aforementioned companies’ cuts were first reported by AdExchanger. Meanwhile, GumGum laid off 25% of its staff this spring due to declining revenues caused by the health crisis, according to Business Insider.

“We anticipate that the pace of ad spending will pick up as we move into Q3 and beyond, but we don’t expect to recoup the previously booked spend that will be lost this quarter,” GumGum told Mediavine for this article.

“While it was difficult to see many talented friends and colleagues affected by this global crisis, the hard choices we’ve made recently have set us up for success as the market returns to normal and in the long term.”

Mediavine maintains strong, long-lasting partnerships with GumGum and all of our affected partners, and are working closely with them in Q2 to ensure timely payments and plan a path forward under challenging circumstances.

“These are unprecedented times, so we’re finding that collaboration and communication is more important with your partners than ever before,” TripleLift told us earlier this week.

“Nobody knows how long this downturn will continue and when things will start to correct, so it’s our collective responsibility to look for market signals and proactively share learnings with trusted partners.”

“It’s key that we support each other to build resilient strategies that get us through this stretch, and perhaps even benefit from it.”

using a computer to learn about how OpenX, TripleLift & GumGum Cut Staff Due to Decreased Market Spend

What does this mean for Mediavine?

Without question, these industry-wide (and broader economic) conditions have trickled down to ad managers as well. 

Our publishers, now more than 6,600 strong, have largely seen significant RPM declines as eCPM and CPMs have fallen precipitously over the last two months.

Ready for the good news, if you can call it that?

CPMs and eCPM have stabilized somewhat in the last 2-3 weeks, following a steep drop beginning in early March, when the U.S. economic shutdown began in earnest, and continued through the middle of April.

No one can predict the future, but April has given us some cautious optimism. Hopefully, to paraphrase Winston Churchill, this may not be the end, or even the beginning of the end, but the end of the beginning.

In any case, publishers remain in good hands with Mediavine.

We are always rethinking our approach to account for any new information, and using every available tool to meet these challenges. This helps ensure that publishers are earning as much as possible with Mediavine ads.

Part of this strategy is to guarantee publishers get paid for their inventory amid disruption and factors beyond our control. That’s why we created BidShield, a joint initiative between our Ad Operations, Engineering and Business Intelligence teams at Mediavine.

BidShield logo

A proprietary new technology designed to mitigate risk and ensure the sustainability of both our own business and those who depend on us, BidShield will help protect publisher earnings and guarantee on-time payments.

We are confident that the industry will not only survive, but emerge stronger from this crisis. Follow the above link to learn more about BidShield and stay tuned to our blog and social channels for the latest insights.

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