Meet The Team - Magnite's strategy for a cookieless future

Jason Pollock
By Jason Pollock | 31 May 2024
Yael Milbank.

From the outside, independent sell-side advertising company Magnite may appear to be one of the industry players who is set to suffer from the depreciation of third party cookies - whenever it ends up being rolled out - but the adtech is well insulated from these challenges, according to Magnite ANZ MD Yael Milbank. 

"It's important for lots of people who operate within the display industry and it will impact our business as a whole, but when you look at our core streaming business, which operates in a cookieless environment, we're expecting this impact to be very limited," he told AdNews.

"We use other identifiers to do the things that cookies do in a desktop world within the video environment. Identifiers for advertisers (IDFAs) and other first party data products allow audiences to be segmented and ads to be delivered and frequency capped within a cookieless environment."

IDFAs are identifier assigned by Apple to a user’s iOS device, with advertisers able to use the device ID to track data so they can deliver customised advertising, according to measurement and analytics suite Adjust.

Milbank said that something like Unified ID 2.0, an open-source framework that publishers, advertisers, and digital advertising platforms can use to establish identity without third-party cookies, will be a key part of what a cookieless future could look like.

"We talk to all those different vendors and offer different integration paths around those IDs and how they could be used by different media owners," he said.

"From our perspective, first party publisher-defined audiences will be key when we move on from this cookie stage and so we're very much driving that conversation with publishers around ownership of your data."

With Magnite's streaming supply-side platform serving as a key segment of the business, Milbank said that he thinks that Australia is a great testbed for big businesses - such as Amazon, Paramount and Disney -  to launch ad-supported offerings outside of the US.

"From a trading perspective, there is demand for premium video and that isn't waning. It's just a matter of establishing where it fits within the overarching media mix," he told AdNews.

Apart from streaming, Milbank said audio is another big sector to keep an eye on 2024.

"I feel like with digital audio, there are a lot of conversations around ‘how can we make this better and grow and be a powerhouse within that digital set of products?’ and I think there's a few little technology blockers along the way which will get cleared as the year goes on," he said.

"We continue to focus on streaming - streaming is a core part of our business and our operation in Australia - but we also have omnichannel across display, audio and all of the other parts of our business. We're also thinking more about digital out of home, but that’s probably a next year thing for us as we’re focusing in on audio for the second half of this year.

"Our SpringServe ad server, used by the likes of Nine and Brightcove, is a slightly different part of our business which is growing. We're getting that out there with all of our broadcaster partners and having good success with engagement on that product and that’ll be a key focus for the second half too."



Adrian Isoldi

Adrian Isoldi, Head of Demand, Australia

What’s the biggest challenge in your role?

With the changing ways consumers are spending their time amidst the shift to digital, it’s become crucial for buyers to adapt. As buyers navigate this evolving landscape of audience addressability, one of the most challenging aspects of my role is guiding them through this shift.  A key part of this is ensuring buyers understand the potential these developments can offer to reach addressable audiences across new channels, provided the data, infrastructure, and measurement capabilities are in place.

What does a typical day look like for you?

Every day is different, but overall it is all interconnected with managing my team and helping buyers get the most out of Magnite. Mornings can kick off with early calls, whether it be with our US product team or my Demand counterparts in the US. Once I head into the office, I dive straight into reviewing revenue numbers and ensuring everything is running smoothly.

We are a team with a variety of skill sets that are complementary yet different.  Most days would be full of calls, emails, and meetings, with a drive to deliver the best service and solutions for our clients. Then there’s the entertaining and buyer education, whether it’s a Matcha, lunch, or event, I’ll be engaging with the industry and representing all that is Magnite.

I also like to keep engaged with the latest in other markets so it’s not uncommon to end a day with a late-night meeting with our counterparts in the EMEA market.

What attracted you to Magnite?

I’ve been with the company for over a decade. When I first joined, the company was a young, energetic startup looking to change the way video was bought. And we did just that. It’s been an exciting journey and learning experience playing at the forefront of programmatic advertising.

What are you focused on for 2024?

This year, my focus revolves around developing commercial and deal structures to optimise outcomes by aligning Magnite’s capabilities and platforms to better serve our partners. Enhancing our touchpoints, strengthening our presence and ultimately growing agency partnerships is also high on my agenda. Overall, demonstrating value to our partners remains a priority, all while growing revenue growth for them.

What do you love most about your role?

I love the ability to create innovative solutions for our clients. It’s incredibly rewarding to develop strategies that are not only valuable, but also drive more revenue for our clients.


Maddy Mewing

Maddy Mewing, Director - Platforms Australia

What does a typical day look like for you?

Every day looks a little different. The majority of my day is filled with client meetings, intertwined alongside meetings with several teams within Magnite - marketing, technical ops, business intelligence and product - to align our efforts and ensure we’re delivering best-practice, high-quality solutions from every angle.

I am also usually working on a large-scale project with our team and clients to strategically drive unparalleled results and revenue success, or I am out in market visiting publishers, sales teams and key leads - whether it’s to provide training, conduct business reviews or collaborative projects.

Additionally, I now oversee our platforms operations team who facilitate campaign management for our publisher clients. I work closely with them to develop and automate operations to drive best-in-class output.

Finally, I spend time reviewing the revenue and yield performance of each publisher to ensure we are identifying growth opportunities and ensure we are consistently delivering revenue growth to our clients wherever possible.

What’s the biggest challenge in your role?

Most parts of my role are challenging, but in a good way. Our platforms are continuously undergoing refinements to meet new demands and stay at the forefront of innovation to ensure we’re delivering value for our diverse client base. This means tasks are often varied and require me to wear many different hats. At Magnite, we are committed to delivering solutions that drive revenue for our clients while seamlessly connecting buyers to our publishers’ supply in real-time. This involves mastering a plethora of services, operations and market leading tech to ensure we deliver success in an increasingly complex marketplace.

What are you focused on for 2024?

Our main focus at Magnite is always to drive revenue growth for our publishers and connect them to our demand partners across our platforms in the most effective way.

This year, we will be particularly focused on helping our clients enrich their identity and first party data sets, and evolve their data and audience strategies. As part of my role, I’ll also be focused on nurturing new and existing partnerships, aiming to enrich our platform, industry relationships, and supplier networks. We are committed to fostering platform interoperability among publishers, buyers and DSPs, bringing Magnite’s continual investment in product innovation and operational excellence to the forefront.

What attracted you to Magnite?

After working at GroupM for 12 years, I was about to return from maternity leave and looking for a new career challenge. I was particularly interested in working for an independent ad tech partner. Magnite felt like the right fit from the beginning. 

I was also on a panel with our Head of JAPAC, Juliette Stead at Future of TV in 2019 and thought she was incredible. I immediately reached out to her to see if she would take me on, and she did!

What do you love most about your role?

I love that my role offers me the opportunity to serve the CTV industry, contributing to grow this emerging area and drive local broadcaster growth against the big players. I also love that all of my clients have unique and exciting business goals that we strive to accommodate, and I get to do this alongside a dedicated and hard-working team.

I am also lucky to work for a company that truly lives by its values, fosters a great culture and generosity. Finally, I feel inspired by our leadership team who are extremely supportive and make every day fulfilling and rewarding.


Nikola Small

Nikola Small, Platform Lead, DV+

What do you love most about your role?

I love being able to educate, mentor and support a team of strong women in the adtech space. As managers, we are only successful when our team is successful. I love nothing more than witnessing a member of my team excel - whether it’s leading a great meeting, receiving amazing feedback from a client, or taking the initiative to lead. Seeing their growth and development is so fulfilling, and without a doubt one of the aspects I love most about working at Magnite.

What attracted you to Magnite?

I have been with Magnite for 8 years now. I was part of the Rubicon Project business during the merger and I can still clearly remember the feeling I got from meeting with the team for my interview. I thought ‘these are my people’, and I was instantly excited to be a part of a team of really smart and supportive people who have made incredible strides in shaping the programmatic landscape. I remember starting my job when header bidding exploded. That was a steep learning curve, but I found it was also a great way to upskill on the fly and be a part of something that was driving such a fundamental change in programmatic.

What are you focused on for 2024?

Although the timeline for cookie deprecation has shifted, I am interested to see how the effects of this change from the start of the chain all the way through as the market shifts - particularly how identity and audiences will become the new currency in programmatic. As I have been fortunate to be so close to the CTV business, I’ve had the opportunity to learn from that side of our business where this concept is not new to them, allowing me to approach this shift with confidence. I’m excited about the prospects for Magnite and confident of its success in this space as our talented teams have worked to continuously innovate solutions to ensure media owners and advertisers are well-prepared for this new chapter.

What does a typical day look like for you?

Ending my first shift as mum of two! I then start my second shift working closely with my team at Magnite. A typical day sees me having a quick WIP to ensure everyone is aligned on our priorities.  I think it's imperative to regularly review and sense check the work of your team as it keeps everyone engaged and accountable. From there, every day isn’t essentially the same given we are an omnichannel platform. We are fortunate to work with clients in different ways, and whilst they all have different needs, at the end of the day we are there to support our publishers with monetisation of supply, yield and platform optimisation to enhance their performance.

What’s the biggest challenge in your role?

Breaking through the noise in the market. As the market we operate in is so small, there is only room for so many players, and it can get noisy pretty quickly. This can make it hard to focus on what we can do to make this space better from both a technical point of view and people perspective. Sometimes the loudest in the room doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right voice to listen to!


Geena Oakman

Geena Oakman, Account Manager, Seller Platforms

What attracted you to Magnite?

Initially, I was drawn to Magnite as I worked closely with them in my previous role at Foxtel Media. I was excited to learn more about the tech side of programmatic and found Magnite to have a supportive culture, so when the opportunity to join the team arose it felt like it was meant to be!

What’s the biggest challenge in your role?

As an Account Manager, I work across various publishers, meaning I am always striving to strike a balance between managing the priorities that come with working with clients, while also dedicating time to learn about new products and features on our platforms and how these suit our publishers’ unique projects and goals. It's a dynamic role that keeps me continuously learning and engaged.

What do you love most about your role?

I love working across multiple media formats (audio, display and video) and the satisfaction of finding solutions that meet my clients’ needs. I also enjoy working with my teammates, and the overall culture at Magnite where the only silly question is the one you don’t ask. Over the last two years, I have learnt so much. I’m excited to continue to learn and grow!

What are you focused on for 2024?

This year I am focused on developing and deepening my technical knowledge further, embracing leadership opportunities such as my involvement in the IAB Audio Council, nurturing my client relationships alongside building upon my network across the wider programmatic space.

What does a typical day look like for you?

Each morning I like to start the day with a podcast. Lately, I have been listening to Rotten Mango and Toni and Ryan on Spotify. I then spend the morning either in meetings or reviewing my inbox before I tackle my to-do list, which on a given day ranges from providing account optimisation recommendations and weekly insights, to addressing various queries or requests raised by my clients. Around midday, I like to gather lunch inspiration from my teammates, and share show recommendations (or gossip) as we eat!

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