Securing the future for Permutive and its publishers

June 23, 2023 4 min read

  • Joe Root

    CEO & Co-founder, Permutive

A message from Joe Root, CEO and Co-founder of Permutive

  • Following our restructuring, I want to update you on the changes that have taken place and what they mean for the future of Permutive.

    As the economic downturn worsens, capital markets have dried up, and global VC funding is down 53%. We were fortunate enough to raise $75M before this downturn began, and we intend to be here supporting publishers and growing their revenue for the long term. As a result, we made the decision to adjust our operating model to concentrate investment on growth areas while also taking the difficult decision to reduce the team size.

    The changes mean Permutive has years of working capital in the bank and a clear path to profitability should we choose. While we will continue to invest capital in future growth areas, we’re concentrating our investments on the areas of our business seeing significant growth: publishers and enabling their direct-sold revenue. Across our publishers today, audience-led direct-sold revenue through Permutive increased 37% in Q4 2022 and accelerated to 55% in Q1 2023, while Digiday’s recent research shows that open marketplace spend is in decline (25% drop in Q4 2022). 

    Hundreds of the world’s leading publishers choose Permutive, and their reviews on G2 have seen us win Momentum Leader, Highest User Adoption and Most Implementable for Summer 2023. Permutive customers have won AdExchanger’s Best Publisher-Side Data Platform for the past three years running.

    Building on direct-sold revenue 

    Cookies are now only available across 30% of internet consumers, and with Google’s confirmation of cookie deprecation in 2024, legacy ad-tech and ID solutions have no alternative but to maintain the status quo of programmatic—with high ad-tech fees and complicated supply paths. 

    For publishers, the solution to cookie deprecation lies in their own hands—in their data and their sales teams. Publishers have a solid and stable foundation in their direct businesses where 100% of revenue belongs to them, independent of ad-tech fees and the declining open marketplace. 

    Our publishers have chosen to build direct-sold businesses on top of Permutive. In doing so, they’re monetising 100% of their audience and building deeper and longer-term relationships with advertisers. Publishers like Trusted Media Brands achieved a 140% year-on-year increase in audience-driven direct-sold revenue and a 31% increase in RFP win rate using their audience data through Permutive. Similarly, for Penske Media Corporation, 76% of their deals with advertisers were direct in 2022, and they saw a 46% year-on-year increase in audience-driven direct-sold revenue.

    Aligning our organization with our publishers

    A critical factor in strengthening our business is adapting and innovating to keep pace with our publishers, particularly as their audience strategy matures, direct-sold revenues grow, and advertisers increasingly rely on them to reach the 100% of internet consumers that adtech can’t.

    That’s why we’re investing in powering publishers’ direct-sold revenue. Two separate product and engineering teams will continue to evolve our products to serve publishers and their teams better in-market. These teams will be focused on products that drive win rates and campaign revenue from audiences.

    Our restructuring has seen us build dedicated teams that better align with publisher needs. A client partner team laser-focused on aligning Permutive with publishers’ strategic initiatives, a team of success managers focused on training publisher teams and helping them go to market, and a technical services team who will be on hand to support with technical issues and queries.

    We also recognize a growing need for publishing partners and vendors to innovate and integrate with Permutive to give publishers access to the solutions they need to go to market, from Survey Providers and Clean Rooms to SSPs and DSPs. So we’ve built a middleware team to allow us and our publishers to rapidly integrate with programmatic partners and industry initiatives. Technical consultants will be available for publishers with constrained development resources.

    The opportunity for publisher direct-sold is now

    Our changes are built around our conviction in the opportunity for publishers. Publishers are successfully building large direct-sold businesses on top of their audiences with Permutive today. By doubling down on publishers’ direct-sold revenue, we’ll further enable our publishers’ ability to build growing businesses that allow them to deliver the captivating and meaningful content their consumers look to them for.