Why supply-side platforms (SSPs) hold the key to a bright future for digital advertising

  • Posted by Valbona Gjini
  • On Jan 13, 2023

The digital media industry is going through a fundamental transformation driven by technical, regulatory, and behavioral changes. Supply-side platforms (SSPs) have a vital role to play in ensuring their publisher clients can benefit from the latest developments and innovations, particularly when it comes to addressability.

Publishers rely on supply-side platforms to maximize demand density

With more and more traditional signals being limited or blocked, publishers are seeking out alternative identification technologies to enable them to augment the value of their inventories and audiences and increase addressability across all environments. The race to get all the necessary preparations in place, and the surge of solutions making themselves available in the market means that publishers are looking to their SSP partners for guidance.

The industry is realizing that, despite Chrome’s deadline, there is value in reaching the cookieless audiences that exist today. Publishers struggle to monetize around 30% of global traffic because of cookieless browsers such as Safari and Firefox. On top of this, an additional 20% is unaddressable due to match-rate issues. As a consequence, even though third-party cookies are still available, there is a far greater opportunity for publishers to leverage more effective technologies that will allow them to monetize the 50% of traffic that is currently missing.

SSPs must ensure that they are exploring all new solutions and strategies that surface so that their publishers aren’t left behind among all these changes. Moreover, they have a duty to their publisher clients to exercise every possibility to maximize demand density. Maximizing demand density (bids) results in increased competition for supply and, therefore, yield for their publishers. Since SSPs take a revenue share from their publishers, everyone wins.

Supporting next-generation identity solutions

For the future of identity, it is expected that a number of identity approaches will exist alongside each other, being used according to the needs of different companies and campaigns. However, there are certain solutions that cater to the needs of all players in the industry and, as a result, are rising above the rest as a new standard. In ID5’s State of Digital Identity 2022 report, first-party universal identifiers were voted as the most viable solution to replace third-party cookies.

Not only do first-party universal IDs enable addressability in cookieless environments, but they also increase addressability in cookie-based environments. When platforms standardize on the same universal ID, drop-offs in addressability due to cookie matching is no longer a problem. Therefore, by leveraging first-party universal identifiers, publishers can maximize the value of their inventory across all environments in a privacy-first way.

In ID5’s State of Digital Identity 2022 report, it was found that 64% of supply-side platforms currently support two or more first-party universal identifiers. Clearly, the supply side is making positive progress in equipping their clients for the next chapter of digital advertising. If you’re not included in these numbers – it’s time to act now.

Generate more demand

Increasing monetization for publishers doesn’t stop there. Supply-side platforms have the power to generate more demand by enabling advertisers to reach cookieless audiences via deal IDs. Through Deal IDs, SSPs integrated with alternative IDs can allow for cookieless audience activation and retargeting use cases.

Different players are operating at different paces. For brands, this means that their demand partners may not yet have integrated with their identity solutions of choice, thus inhibiting them from reaching cookieless audiences. SSPs have the opportunity of fixing this problem for buyers whilst also benefiting their publishers. This is where deal IDs come into play. By leveraging deal ID with an identity solution provider, SSPs can power cookieless activation for buyers regardless of the DSP they use and better support publishers’ monetization efforts.

Going above and beyond

Publishers want to tap into the cookieless opportunity today – and SSPs have different ways to support them. We know that first-party universal IDs are one of the most favored solutions to solve the identity crisis.

But, we also know that migrating to a new way can be daunting. Below are some top tips for SSPs who want to go above and beyond and set up publisher clients for success.

  • SSPs can gain access to demand that is leveraging specific IDs by ensuring they pick up any IDs available on the publishers’ page and pass through the ID and any associated metadata to DSPs. Whilst many SSPs are passing through the IDs themselves, some ID vendors provide metadata – which the buy side is finding increasingly valuable.
  • SSPs should openly communicate with their platform partners which ID vendors they support and include supply coverage of each ID vendor in their quarterly business reviews.
  • Some SSPs that have first-party access to the publisher’s page can go one step further by deploying ID providers on behalf of the publisher. This could be a simple tick box for each ID vendor in the SSP user interface (opt-in or opt-out). Amazon and PubMatic’s Identity Hub are examples of how this is done effectively.
  • As we have already covered, media owners rely on SSPs to keep them informed. Because of this, SSPs can take on an educational role to guide publishers on how they can work with ID providers to maximize addressability.

So, we know the value that the cookieless present has to offer for publishers, and this value will only heighten the closer we get to Chrome’s deadline. Media owners are becoming more and more aware of the cookieless opportunities at their fingertips, and are actively seeking out partners that will help them to thrive both today and tomorrow. SSPs, it’s time to step up and take the reins – unlock this value for your clients today.