Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

My Digital Hero: Will Jones, Magnite

Will Jones is the Head of Publisher Development OTT/CTV, EMEA at Magnite, with over 14 years of experience in media and online advertising.

Who is your media hero?

I’m going to name two diligent, original and influential people: one on the commercial side of the industry and the other one on the content side. These former colleagues of mine have stood out as beacons of diversity in a, let’s be honest, white, male dominated world – which is slowly starting to change. But we need to continue to help it change. Denise Breslin and Seb Joseph are my Digital Heroes. 

What have they done to win hero status in your eyes?

Denise is a source of inspiration, leadership and innovation. After breaking sales records at Centaur Publishing, Denise entered the world of mobile working for ground breaking businesses like Bluepod Media, Velti and of course as a founder of Mobsta. 

Seb is one of the best journalists in the media game, starting as a junior on New Media Age and has been working his way up and breaking the top stories ever since. He even finds time to eat crisps with Dr. Dre along the way. He’s now firmly established himself as one of Digiday’s best journalists. 

How has their heroism helped drive media?

Both have helped to change and break the unwritten rules around diversity in our industry. 

Denise has driven a number of unique businesses in the UK. Her work at Mobsta from a three person business to one with regular seven figure turnovers was exceptional, especially her partnership-building within GroupM. Denise’s new business is a female focused advertising solution.

Seb hasn’t shied away from investigating the practices and topics in the media and advertising industry that may intimidate other reporters. He’s reported on topics including racism within the industry and is also a master of long form programmatic analysis. He has prowess in making the complicated simple. 

What are the biggest challenges in media we need another hero to solve?

There are a number of hurdles that we have to overcome in the region to fully embrace the opportunities surrounding CTV. It’s a very exciting space due to its incredible growth, driven by more consumers gravitating to CTV content.

We are at the start of its growth journey in EMEA and must strive to keep it premium in terms of content and advertising. Streamlined programmatic partners, high level ad experiences and diligent work around targeting and measurement are top of mind for many advertisers. 

The work that still needs to be done cannot be championed by any single person – we need leaders from all sides of the industry from content producers to advertisers to technology providers to collaborate and bring forth this new age in video advertising. 

What is your most heroic personal achievement so far in media?

I always strive to drive every business I work for forward, both commercially and culturally. 

Joining and launching Purch with Clare Delaney when it was completely unknown in the UK felt like a significant achievement. In just two years with a team of two in London, we turned it into a significant UK tech publisher before Future PLC acquired the business.

And of course being a contender at Media Fight Night 2018 – I managed to maintain my unbeaten record (with a draw). Thanks to John Maloney it’s become the best media event out there and a fantastic evening – hopefully it will be back in 2021!