The state of universal identifiers: ID5, Adform and PubMatic reveal all in MadTech Vodcast episode

  • Posted by Alex Taylor
  • On Jun 10, 2021

What is the state of universal identifiers in 2021?

To answer this question, our Mathieu Roche joined Jakob Bak, Co-founder and Director at Adform and Emma Newman, CRO EMEA at PubMatic, for a MadTech vodcast episode, hosted and moderated by ExchangeWire’s Ciaran O’Kane.

The speakers came together to discuss critical questions on the tips of everyone’s tongues regarding the future of identity and how universal identifiers fit into this new era. Why are shared IDs important to the industry? How are publishers and advertisers preparing, and who is leading the way? Are we heading towards a world of multi-IDs, and what are the implications of this?

To find out more, take a look at some of our key takeaways from the vodcast below.

From one multi-ID world to the next

One criticism of emerging alternative identifiers on the market is that there are too many IDs to handle. Are we moving into a multi-ID world? ‘Yet, we already come from a multi-ID world that led to cookie matching. Each platform has its own ID on a cookie’ as explained by Mathieu. On top of this, there have always been addressability and scalability issues surrounding match rates. This way of working was simply not sustainable. Moving from cookie matching to alternative IDs will mean the industry is moving from hundreds or possibly even thousands of IDs to several instead.

‘We don’t want one ID, but we also don’t want 20 plus either’. Mathieu believes that the market will standardise around a handful of IDs that are scalable with their method and positioning. Neutrality is also vital for adoption, as competing with others in the space will stunt an IDs growth.

DSPs must lean in

‘If you want people to come into your store, you need to have products to sell’, says Mathieu.

The marketplace is driven by the supply-side, as buyers cannot start bidding on something that doesn’t exist. However, the time has come where scalability on the supply-side is robust, meaning we now need more involvement from the buy-side, i.e. DSPs should start leaning in, and more agencies should press forward in tying their data assets to IDs.

It shouldn’t be an option for buyers to pick the ID; it should be baked into the service

Buyers don’t need to choose which IDs to use, as long as the ID works efficiently, is privacy compliant, and delivers the service they are buying. ‘If we look at use cases like frequency capping and reporting, it doesn’t really matter to the buyer; the important thing is that the functionality is there,’ says Jakob.

Shared IDs are leading the way in the new era of identity

The deadline for the deprecation of third-party cookies in Chrome is fast approaching, but fear not, as alternative identifiers are proving their value as a more efficient identity alternative for the future.

‘Since launching IdentityHub, we have seen around 250 global publishers adopt the solution and have partnered with 17 leading ID solutions, including ID5. Today, the majority of revenue on our platform now has alternative identifiers to the third-party cookie and Apple’s IDFA, enforcing the view that having alternative identifiers at scale provides greater addressability than anonymous identifiers like the third-party cookie,’ says Emma.

Start learning and testing now

Because of the looming deadline, Adform and other ad tech platforms are pushing agencies and advertisers to self-educate on cookie-less world migration.

‘For a brand that uses specific audience sets, they need to figure out which publishers they can get this data from in a first-party manner and start making those learnings now as it’s quite a big change. The volume is there: in many markets, we now see the same number of first-party IDs as we do third-party cookies’ says Jakob.

The same can be said for publishers…

‘They should start testing the solutions available today to establish the audience addressability strategy that suits their business. Very few individual publishers have enough scale to compete with walled gardens, so pooling their inventory is not enough. Instead, publishers need to collaborate and better communicate the value exchange to consumers’ says Emma.

To watch the full vodcast session, click below for on-demand access.