Rubicon Project, a supply-side platform (SSP), has rebranded to ‘Magnite’ following its merger with fellow SSP Telaria. The two completed their merger in April, having announced the deal last December, and have been trading under the Rubicon Project brand since then.
The rebranding marks the final stage of the two company’s integration. Since the merger was completed, Telaria and Rubicon Project have been combining their teams and tech, even through the lockdown. This, alongside the tough economic conditions created by the lockdown, resulted in eight percent of Magnite’s workforce being laid off. One major change has been the departure of Mark Zagorski, who had been Telaria’s CEO, and was president and COO of the combined company.
With the merger now fully wrapped up, Magnite is hoping the scale gained by combining the two companies will make it a major player on the supply-side. Magnite claims to be the largest independent omnichannel sell-side platform in the world, and pitches itself as an alternative to Google’s sell-side tech. The SSP describes itself as a “global alternative to ad tech’s walled gardens – and the giants who live there”.
Connected-TV will be a big focus for the rebranded SSP. Telaria specialised in CTV inventory, and the initial statement announcing the merger said the combined company will make CTV a priority. “As with all digital media, CTV advertising is poised to be almost entirely programmatically transacted in the near future,” said the statement. “Driven by Telaria’s leading market position and technology expertise, the combination of the two companies will provide additional engineering and sales resources, a broader geographic footprint and deeper financial assets to seize the CTV opportunity — to the benefit of our customers and in support of a thriving open internet.”
Magnite is also highlighting its independence as one of its advantages. Magnite doesn’t have any inventory of its own to sell, and is not tied to any buy-side tech or platforms either. “Since we’re not in competition with you, we work for you,” reads Magnite’s website, adding that its independence will help it “provide open-minded advice across every channel and format”.
And in the wake of the ISBA report released earlier this year which highlighted the opacity of the ad tech ecosystem, Magnite says it will provide transparency. Magnite says buyers won’t find “any walls (or hidden fees) around our garden”.
Magnite comes to market in what is undoubtedly a challenging time, with ad spend depressed and predicted to take a while to recover. But the SSP’s focus on CTV could be a boon for the company. While video ad revenues have been down during the lockdown, most studies have shown video has been hit less hard than other channels. And at the same time, recent reports from the IAB, an industry trade group, have found that buyers are shifting spend from traditional TV into CTV. In the US, 59 percent of buyers are planning to increase their CTV budgets this year, according to the IAB.