The Trade Desk spoke with Index Exchange’s Will Doherty on the company’s support for Unified ID 2.0 and the growing number of identity products entering the marketplace, as well as when the industry will ditch cookies in favour of a better solution
The number of identity solutions entering the market has reached a watershed moment, where companies ranging from Verizon to Google are aligning behind the goal of replacing third-party cookies with products that improve addressability, measurement and consumer privacy. With several initiatives already in play, it doesn’t mean one identity solution will rule them all.
“There will not be a singular solution,” says Will Doherty, chief of marketplace development at Index Exchange. “What we need is an agreed-upon standardised industry framework that allows publishers to preserve their data while also allowing marketers to use their data.”
Index Exchange is a sell-side platform that helps publishers such as Hearst, Meredith and the Washington Post sell their ad inventory. The company recently announced its support for Unified ID 2.0, joining other players like LiveRamp, Nielsen, Criteo, PubMatic and Magnite.
Regardless of how many solutions the marketplace adopts, UID 2.0 is in a strong position to garner widespread adoption thanks to its interoperability, a critical, but often overlooked feature that’s key to its long-term success, says Doherty.
“There’s a lot of friction without interoperability,” he says. “Imagine if every cell phone manufacturer had a unique charging cable, you couldn’t borrow someone else’s charger unless you had the same make and model. Proprietary approaches like that slow down adoption and make ease of use incredibly hard.”
Interoperability is key, says Doherty, because it will reduce costs for all players, help drive scale as well as boosting digital ad revenues. “Standardising the basics and fundamental architecture will actually drive market growth significantly more than any proprietary solution,” he says.