Rubicon Project had previously been associated with display ad inventory, while Telaria (arguably the smaller of the pair) specialized in connected TV, with the merged entity aiming to position itself as an omnichannel SSP.
Founded in 2007, Rubicon Project is one of the most recognizable company names in ad tech, while Telaria (the result of a 2017 rebrand) is an offshoot of Tremor Video, another of the early trailblazers in the space to have IPO’d.
Michael Barrett, CEO and president of Magnite, explained to Adweek that the prospect of retaining either of the two legacy brands was quickly taken off the table in a bid to better assimilate the respective teams.
“To be honest, from a social standpoint, the whole ‘legacy-this and legacy-that’ over who was red, and who was blue … it was nice to get that in the back,” he added.
The Magnite branding was conceived in partnership with creative agency Collins with the new brand identity originally intended to be unveiled at this year’s Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity, prior to the live event’s cancellation due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We wanted a name that would evoke permanence, that it wasn’t going to be a head-scratcher rename where you’re like, ‘Why did that come along?’” Barrett added.
“Magnite is a concocted word … but it touches on a couple of things, as it brought in that element of permanence as it seems stone-like, like it’s been there forever.”
Magnite’s marketing team also settled on the name for its connotation of magnetism. “So, the idea of drawing two companies and an ecosystem closer together, we think it works on many different levels,” added Barrett.
In a statement about the rebrand, Bill Murray, vp of programmatic solutions at Discovery Inc., said, “The unification of their technologies as Magnite will bring greater synergy and efficiency to our omnichannel monetization and sales strategies.”
Meanwhile, Vin Paolozzi, chief investment officer at IPG’s Kinesso added, “As we continue to navigate a channel-agnostic, audience-first addressable approach, the combined assets and experience of the two companies are poised to help IPG and Kinesso deliver unique opportunities to our clients.”
News of the planned merger of Rubicon and Telaria was announced in December, and eventually concluded in April with former Telaria chief exec Mark Zargorski later exiting the amalgamated outfit. The combined entity also shed 8% of its headcount in cost-saving measures accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic earlier this spring.
The combined Magnite entity has more than 600 people across 15 countries, enabling publishers to monetize across all auction types and formats including CTV, desktop display, video, audio and mobile. The company’s stock price ticker on the Nasdaq will change from RUBI to MGNI from July 1.