LiveRamp and TTD’s ID Hook Up

Normally we don’t cover partnerships between various ad tech players, but we think this is big news that potentially flew under the radar. Last week, LiveRamp announced that its Authenticated Identity Infrastructure would support The Trade Desk’s Unified ID 2.0 (now without third-party cookies!). 

It’s about time those two crazy IDs got together! Two major identity-driven universal IDs are syncing up, making each one more universal—or perhaps approaching the scale where they might actually be considered universal.

Wait—these universal IDs aren’t universal?!?

Yeah, universal is a pretty loaded word when it comes to digital IDs. After all, the majority of these IDs only cover authenticated traffic. But hey—when have we ever cared about semantic accuracy in ad tech?

The biggest concern about whether identity-based universal IDs—like LiveRamp’s and TTD’s Unified ID 2.0—can be successful (and potentially save the open programmatic ecosystem from being dominated by walled gardens) is scale. 

But there’s been a big chicken or the egg problem—in the past, publishers have followed advertisers down their preferred targeting rabbit hole, but now it seems advertisers are waiting for publishers to choose the winners in the identity game. However, publishers don’t want to integrate solutions that advertisers aren’t using and are going to potentially ignore… Round and round we go.

This partnership finds the best of both worlds. TTD’s high-performing ID made it the most powerful independent DSP, but that cookie pool was going to be next to useless once Chrome brings the hatchet down on third-party cookies. (It’s also currently not effective in the very hot and very cookie-free world of programmatic connected TV, a space TTD would like more market share.) But you need buyers and sellers on board to make an identity solution hum, and while TTD is a buyer fave, sellers might need some coaxing to get with the program.

Fortunately, LiveRamp has been racking up premium publishers—215 worldwide including “65% of the U.S. Comscore top 20, and 60% of the U.S. Comscore top 50”—and integrating with just about every well-known SSP. LiveRamp has a pretty good coterie of buy-side patrons, but alignment with the most popular independent DSP can only grow that group. 

So a partnership is a coverage boost for both that also bolsters identity’s case for saving the open programmatic ecosystem. We’ve heard concerns from publishers that their identity partnerships haven’t been mind-blowing so far, but widening the scope could change their tunes. All of these identity resolution players can potentially (and do) work together—now publishers need to see those partnerships transform into revenue.