I recently caught up with James Brown, who is Head of International for the sell-side advertising platform, Magnite. We discuss his role, the impact of new privacy measures, and the future of programmatic.

What has been your biggest achievement since you’ve been at Magnite, and can you explain your role?

In other words, Magnite was born by bringing together four leading technology companies: Rubicon Project, Telaria, Spotx, and Springserve. Bringing these four teams together to form Magnite, the world’s largest independent sell side platform, all over video conferencing is something that I am extremely proud of and I am excited to see the output buy list of architects over the coming weeks and months. As Head of International, I am responsible for all revenue and customer relationships across EMEA and JAPAC. In other words, I work very closely with the regional leaders and teams to deliver the best technology solutions for our customers, whether they are buyers or sellers of advertising.

How do you think new privacy features will impact the digital ad industry?

It is important to look at the bigger picture when it comes to privacy and consent as a broader topic in the digital ad industry. What is happening with iOS 14 is symptomatic of an important issue, albeit in this case, one localised to the Apple ecosystem.

The broader point is that there is a need for privacy and consent compliant identification to drive the next chapter in the digital ecosystem. At Magnite we believe this should be a community-owned asset that most likely sits with the publisher.

How can privacy and personalisation co-exist in advertising?

Personalisation doesn’t have to come at the expense of privacy. Looking forward, a proportion of audience tracking will be transparently set and controlled by the users themselves. Tracking and addressability could be based on “first party signals” (by logged-in users). Therefore, or on a first-party identifier as provided by the publisher through an open-source platform such as Prebid. With interest-based data, ads can be better tailored towards the end user. Users can opt-out of tracking, as well as convey the inherent value that digital advertising brings to the open internet. Ultimately, ads keep the internet free and open for consumers. 

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