Digital advertising company AudienceScience is cutting as much as a quarter of its staff, GeekWire has learned.
AudienceScience, formerly known as Revenue Science and digiMine, calls itself the first advertising automation company. Its headquarters is in Bellevue, Wash., and it has locations in China and Hong Kong, India, the U.K., Japan, Brazil and Singapore. This week, GeekWire received several tips that the company was laying off employees in multiple departments.
The company declined to provide a number, but a source with knowledge of the layoffs put the number of jobs lost at fewer than 50. It is unclear which departments the cuts will affect most and which locations will feel the brunt of the layoffs. Prior to the layoffs, Audience Science employed more than 200 people.
In response to our questions, AudienceScience sent this statement: “The latest changes at the company reflect our increasing shift towards better serving the agency side of the advertising business alongside our roster of global advertiser clients. AudienceScience will maintain all of its global offices and continue to focus on building great technology that serves both advertiser and agency clients.”
AudienceScience is part of a big trend in the advertising business known as programmatic advertising, a data-driven model that focuses on highly-targeted, automated ad buying and placing. Programmatic advertising is regarded by some as the next big thing in online advertising, and a lot of Seattle-area companies are jumping on board. Whitepages in 2015 said it was investing more in programmatic advertising, and Chinese programmatic ad company iPinYou last year announced plans to put its U.S. headquarters in Bellevue.
But the field does have some problems. AudienceScience said on its website that it is trying to end “corrupt business practices and an opaque ecosystem that has bred complacency and mistrust,” within the industry. Last year, Scott Moore of Microsoft, Yahoo and Cheezburger fame, announced his latest company, Ad Lightning, which scans digital publishing outlets for disruptive ads that slow down and hurt their sites. Moore counts himself of a fan of the trend due to its efficiency and is trying to improve on it, but sometimes poorly-formatted ads can slow down sites, so his company is building tools to manage those programmatic ads.