Rubenstein emphasized that AppNexus already has a significant amount invested in auditing and would invest more this year.
"In terms of the overall number of hours of auditing, that doesn't change," Rubenstein said. "We're not pulling back at all. It's just that the work is being concentrated in a smaller number of people. I realize that may not have been a popular decision with the 22 workers, but the remaining workers are very happy with the change."
State Of AppNexus' Direct-To-Marketer Business
Rubenstein emphasized the change does not mean the company has moved away from servicing advertisers directly. AppNexus' chief clients have always started with the agencies and their trading desks, he said. "If anything, we've been deepening our investment and growing our relationships with buyers all over the world. We have an aggressive product road map in that area."
He pointed to established buy-side relationships with Microsoft and eBay, though the latter company began handing its European programmatic business to MediaMath last summer. MediaMath had no comment when asked if eBay has shifted more business to them.
AppNexus recently released an entirely new workflow for buyers, Rubenstein noted. It's also preparing to release the AppNexus Console for Traders (aka Console the Next Generation), which is designed to appeal to strategic buyer clients, such as agencies, which Rubenstein said was always the focus for AppNexus.
"Most of our business is with agencies and trading desks," he said. "We've only worked with direct brands in certain circumstances. That's always been well known, but we still power some of the biggest brand marketers in the world. That's not going to change. We've always been more of an intermediary because we're a technology company. AppNexus is the only company in this space that has no media business. We're solely focused on building technology."
Rubenstein continued, "As a pure-play technology company, what we've found is that our audience has not frequently been direct brands. But there are a lot of forward-thinking, technologically savvy marketers out there and we are happy to work with them."