For Universal ID 2.0, Magnite and Index Exchange Join Forces With The Trade Desk

Two of the largest independent SSPs now support the post-cookie identity product

The Trade Desk is building Unified ID 2.0 in collaboration with industry partners. Magnite, Index Exchange, The Trade Desk

Magnite and Index Exchange, two of independent ad-tech’s largest supply-side platforms, are the latest companies to support The Trade Desk’s Unified ID 2.0, it’s replacement for third-party cookies.

The two SSPs are the fourth and fifth major companies to support the identity product in recent weeks after Nielsen, LiveRamp and Criteo started collaborating with The Trade Desk to help drive wide adoption of the identity product.

The Trade Desk began building Unified ID 2.0 this year as the first iteration of the widely used product relied on third-party cookies, which Google will no longer support in its Chrome browser by 2022, essentially putting an expiration date on the web trackers.

Tom Kershaw, CTO of Magnite, said in a statement that the next generation of identity needs to be open and easily accessible, with transparency and consumer privacy at its core.  

“We are firm supporters of Unified ID 2.0 as an identity solution that can work across all digital ecosystems. It’s key that industry partners coalesce around an identity solution that’s an upgrade to cookies and enables publishers of all sizes to build and maintain trust with their viewers,” Kershaw said.

Unified ID 2.0 is based on hashed, or obscured, email addresses gathered from publishers. These emails can come from existing publisher log-ins or from a single sign-on solution, which Unified ID 2.0 also provides.

“Together with Magnite and other industry leaders, we can create a better model for identity, one that gives more controls and transparency to both publishers and consumers, while preserving the value exchange of relevant advertising on the internet,” Dave Pickles, CTO of The Trade Desk, said in a statement.

Pickles previously told Adweek he hopes for wide adoption of Unified ID 2.0 by early next year, adding that publisher adoption is key to driving the overall success of the product.

While The Trade Desk took the first steps in building Unified 2.0, it’s an open technological framework that the industry will build out collaboratively. An independent governing body will ultimately manage it.

“This collaboration with Index Exchange is a major step forward in an industrywide collaboration to develop a better, upgraded alternative to third-party cookies,” Jeff Green, CEO and founder of The Trade Desk, said in a statement. “With growing industry support and momentum, Unified ID 2.0 will help preserve the value exchange of relevant advertising on the open internet, while improving controls for consumers.”

Unified ID 2.0 is supported in all email-based log-in environments, inclusive of mobile app and CTV, two areas that currently don’t support third-party cookies. Andrew Casale, president and CEO of Index Exchange, said in a statement that monetization in environments without third-party cookies will require publishers to start adapting authentication-based solutions like Unified ID 2.0.

“We’re looking forward to helping our publisher partners leverage this open-source framework in order to build and maintain trust with their consumer audiences, and ultimately drive results for both publishers and advertisers. This is the direction our industry needs to go, and we’re proud to help bring forth a real, transparent solution for publishers and marketers in the post-cookie era,” Casale said.

While two major SSPs now support Unified ID 2.0, publishers must adopt the tech on their own.

@andrewblustein Andrew Blustein is a programmatic reporter at Adweek.