Building momentum for The Trade Desk’s unified ID solution

December 17, 2018
Tim Sims
SVP of Inventory Partnerships

The advertising ecosystem across the independent internet, or those of us outside of the walled gardens, has reached a tipping point when it comes to cookie ID identification and the choices are clear: either we rally together for the common good of our industry, or we don’t and instead allow the walled gardens to maintain their advantage over everyone else.

At The Trade Desk, the decision has already been made. We will help lead our industry to a scaled, no-cost solution with our unified ID solution. And we are asking you to join us.

Said another way, we are giving away our cookie footprint to the industry – free of charge.

Why would we do that? Allow us to explain.

The Problem.
Every company across the digital advertising ecosystem has their own unique way to identify consumer cookies. DSP 1 labels it one way while SSP 2 labels it another way and DMP 3 calls it something entirely different. And later, we create “match tables” to understand which of DSP 1’s IDs equals which of SSP 2’s IDs and so on.

But with the sheer number of companies that exist in our ecosystem today, efficiently and thoroughly matching these IDs is simply not possible. This is evidenced by the low match rates we see across the industry – in some cases lower than 50%.

Why does that matter?

Let’s say a brand has 1 million website visitors that it wants to send another ad to across the internet. Even if the DSP, SSP, and DMP all had 80% match rates (far above the industry average), that brand would ultimately only be able to reach roughly 500,000 actionable IDs. The inefficiencies in the cookie-matching process not only majorly reduce the size of marketers’ addressable audience but they simultaneously reduce publisher yield. It’s a major problem.

The Solution.

Fortunately, this problem is very solvable. If we can create frictionless, free access to scaled pools of cookie identifiers (like The Trade Desk’s), we can standardize around a set of common IDs. Ubiquitous access to common IDs will lead to improved match rates across the board and better outcomes for brands and consumers alike.

So, we’re introducing The Trade Desk’s unified ID solution: our effort to become a part of this solution by making our own proprietary cookie ID accessible to the industry at large and at no cost.

Here’s why we’re asking our partners across the industry to join us by adopting our unified ID solution alongside other initiatives today.

(1) Scale your cookie footprint at no charge.

The Trade Desk evaluates 9 million ad opportunities per second. So, by virtue of the scale of our QPS and our global presence, we have one of the largest, most ubiquitous cookie footprints in the world. By adopting unified ID solution, you’ll have access to the same scale that we have for free.

We’re pleased to also support other initiatives like The Ad ID Consortium and Digitrust because they represent action that aligns with our goal of improving match rates across the industry at large. We are focused on making the unified ID solution interoperable with other common industry IDs, as well.

(2) It’s already being adopted, and it’s already working.

Some of the largest sell side players and data partners like Eyeota, Index Exchange, Lotame, OpenX, Oracle Data Cloud, PubMatic, Rubicon Project and Tapad have already partnered with us on this program. These partners are passing the unified ID today with all applicable ad impressions.

As an example, we’ve seen great results with one large independent SSP who began transacting on the unified ID solution. Our match rate with the SSP was already high, but when we started using the unified ID solution, match rates skyrocketed to ~99%. As a result, we saw our bid rate double on the publishers that were utilizing the unified ID solution. That’s good news for everyone.

(3) It benefits our industry at large.

By adopting our unified ID solution (and others like it) our entire industry becomes more effective and efficient for our core constituents: brands, publishers and consumers. More importantly, as we continue to rally together to adopt common IDs, we’ll make the advertising ecosystem across the independent internet more competitive with the walled gardens.

“Index Exchange remains committed to democratizing opportunity throughout the programmatic ecosystem, and Identity efforts are the key to doing so,” said Mike O’Sullivan, Vice President of Product Management at Index Exchange. “We’re proud to have partnered with The Trade Desk on their unified ID solution - one that’s provided to the entire industry at no cost – and we're excited to move our industry forward with faster page load times for consumers, an increase in bids from buyers, and ultimately, greater publisher revenue.”

They say a rising tide raises all boats. We consider this initiative critically important to our industry and a unique opportunity to benefit all those involved.

Join us.

For more information about Unified ID Solution and how you can get started, click here.