The possible demise of third-party cookies is prompting digital advertising leaders to pioneer new approaches to identity.
LiveRamp’s Authenticated Traffic Solution (ATS) allows publishers to connect their first-party identity data to media buyers in areas such as display, mobile in-app and connected TV (CTV). Unified ID 2.0, meanwhile, is an industry initiative that builds upon a recipe developed by the IAB Tech Lab, a trade body, for an open identifier that provides significant upgrades to consumer privacy, transparency and control, while preserving the value exchange of relevant advertising. The Trade Desk has led initial development of the Unified ID 2.0 solution.
This week, LiveRamp announced that it would integrate Unified ID 2.0 with ATS.
The Trade Desk caught up with Travis Clinger, senior VP of addressability and ecosystem at LiveRamp, to discuss what its partnership with The Trade Desk means, why it is significant and how it will impact marketers and publishers. This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.
What problems does this partnership solve?
On the publisher side, it solves the problem of inventory addressability. And what that means is when a publisher has identity on their inventory — whether through a third-party cookie, mobile ad ID or people-based identifier — that inventory sells for a much higher CPM. The more inventory publishers can make addressable, the more revenue they are going to get.
On the demand side, Marketers have huge swaths of data — whether it’s CRM data or site visit data — that they want to connect and use to drive the consumer journey. Marketers can now bid and transact on [LiveRamp’s] IdentityLink within The Trade Desk because of this partnership. They can also measure the success of their campaigns, create ad personalization and frequency capping — without cookies.
ATS seems like a capable product on its own. How does coupling it with Unified ID 2.0 bring value?
For publishers using ATS, they get access to LiveRamp’s people-based identity. And that comes with 450 brands who want to use us. When we combine that with Unified ID 2.0, it comes with all of The Trade Desk’s demand as well. This partnership is all about giving publishers more demand while giving brands neutral identity options to transact on. And it will drive industry adoption by combining the two to make it easier to deploy.
Let’s say tomorrow Chrome flips the switch and third-party cookies are gone. And let’s also say Apple has fully deployed the changes it has in store with its identifier, IDFA. Would this partnership overcome both of those obstacles?
Yes. This allows us to maintain addressability without the need of a third-party cookie or mobile device ID. This also isn’t just for cookies — it’s also for CTV and other new inventory sources like the Internet of Things (IoT), mobile in-app and other emerging channels that also need identity.
Tell me about data portability.
It’s important from our perspective that the publisher’s data is theirs and the marketer’s data is theirs. At the end of the day, everyone else is just middleware connecting first, second and third-party data sets. Now you have this new infrastructure to move data seamlessly with the appropriate permissions across the ecosystem.
We made sure with this partnership that IdentityLink and Unified ID 2.0 are 100 percent interoperable. One of the major downsides of the third-party cookie is moving it across the ecosystem; whenever you moved it you lost data.
Why does the open web matter and what is at stake?
It boils down to the freedom to choose where you get your content from. The open internet enables consumers to access from hundreds-of-thousands of websites and publishers. They can find a variety of opinions, entertainment and news. At the end of the day, we want a thriving, diverse, open internet because it enables consumers to have options outside the social platforms. As a consumer you don’t want four platforms to get your content. You want many. And this partnership we are doing with The Trade Desk ensures the open internet can continue to exist post cookie and continue to thrive post cookie.
I was watching Monday Night Football on a streaming service. I saw the same car commercial 30 times. You mentioned frequency capping. Would this partnership solve that problem for CTV?
Yes, it would. What happened when you were watching Monday Night Football was there was no identity. It’s bad for the brand because they’ve wasted money and they’ve frustrated the consumer. But that is where people-based identity changes the game.
If you run IdentityLink frequency capping within The Trade Desk platform you would have only seen the appropriate amount of ads on that TV. One of the more frustrating experiences with connected TV is not just seeing the same ad, but seeing it five times in a row. No matter how good an ad is, we don’t want to see it five times in a row.