Ad-tech companies have had a tough time in the past year, as funding started to dry up amid the double punch of increasing data regulations and coming changes to third-party ad tracking cookies.
Now, the added weight of how the coronavirus has cut through the advertising landscape has poured gasoline on the ad-tech industry’s already raging fire. MediaMath is the most recent company to take protective measures.
MediaMath, arguably the second biggest pure-play demand-side platform, has confirmed layoffs, furloughs and cost-saving measures totaling approximately 8% of a MediaMath’s estimated 600-plus headcount. The company also confirmed a temporary reduction in salary of 10% and the temporary cessation of its 401(k) matching program for U.S. employees, as it braces for what’s expected to be a double-digit drop in revenue. The geographical spread of the cutbacks remains unclear.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is having a profound impact on all economic activity, and we are preparing our businesses to weather these uncertain times and taking actions that will strengthen our position for the long term, including focusing our hiring efforts on critical positions only, reducing expenses and compensation, and reducing roles as necessary,” said MediaMath president Konrad Gerszke in an emailed statement.
The measures were announced earlier this week, as ad-tech companies across the board prepare for the full impact of the coronavirus crisis. Fellow noted ad-tech outfit TripleLift announced similar measures as Q2 kicked off, and travel specialist firm Sojern shed 50% of its headcount.
Criteo, a publicly listed ad-tech company, last week issued a statement estimating that COVID-19 would negatively impact revenue by between $9 million and 10 million this quarter. All this comes as an IAB study found that 24% of media buyers paused all spend in Q1, and many expect that to continue well into Q2.
“This is a time of profound change,” Gerszke continued. “Ad budgets are under review as spending patterns and media consumption are shifting, supply chains are disrupted, and companies are re-thinking how to reach their consumers and customers.”
MediaMath’s recently unveiled accountability and transparency program Source was helping the company to “win new clients even in today’s environment,” as it continued to strike partnerships with contextual advertising outfits as well as capitalize on connected TV opportunities.
“While we pursue that path, we are making sure our business is well prepared to navigate the current uncertainty successfully,” added Gerszke.
Founded in 2008, MediaMath is widely regarded as one of the early trailblazers of ad-tech. It’s raised more than $600 million in funding according to its Crunchbase profile with the outfit regularly cited as the second-most popularly used independent DSP on the market behind The Trade Desk.