ID5 Integrates With Prebid as Ad Tech’s Identity Wars Persist

The move is designed to bring scale to its independent identifier

Illustration of person's profile
Not all advertising ID consortium efforts have been met without challenges.
Illustration: Trent Joaquin; Sources: Getty Images

ID5’s matching technology will now be available to publishers and ad tech players by integrating with Prebid.js, a move it claims will bring scale to its independent identifier plus reduce the sector’s reliance on third-party cookies.

The collective that is independent ad tech, i.e. programmatic players outside of Amazon, Facebook and Google, wants to rival the scale of walled gardens by converging around a handful of “independent” identifiers.

The theory is that if independent ad-tech vendors can pool their targeted media offerings around fewer identifiers they can rival the scale of a Facebook or Google, whose huge swaths of logged-in data help them garner more than 50% of online media revenue.

Since the early era of ad tech, media traders and their independent programmatic intermediaries have had to literally synchronize hundreds of such IDs to match advertisers to audiences. And recent years have witnessed disparate efforts to galvanize the sector with efforts to reduce such requirements including the Advertising ID Consortium, the IAB Tech Lab’s DigiTrust plus Unified ID Solution.

Although, not all of these efforts have proceeded without delineation from the initial roadmap or prompting some kind of discord among those it is supposed to help with concerns chiefly centered around whether certain IDs are biased towards one particular commercial entity or another.

However, since disagreements began to be aired publicly circa 2017, a handful of identity resolution providers have emerged hoping to position themselves as an independent version of such a matching technology (given that they neither buy nor sell media).

One such player is ID5, which claims that today’s announcement means that publishers using Prebid.js can retrieve its ID, store it on a first-party cookie and then pass it along to their demand partners via a simple on-page configuration.

This then helps improve the ease of which media buyers and sellers can match audiences to relevant brands, thus (theoretically) improving the yield for publishers as well as the outcomes for advertisers.

Speaking with Adweek, ID5 CEO Mathieu Roche said his outfit was working with 45-plus buy- and sell-side programmatic players, describing his company’s offering as a “neutral, specialized alternative” to some of the more divisive offerings on market.

“This can help publishers reclaim [media] budgets from Facebook and Google,” he added. “By reducing the amount of matching technology on their pages, publishers can speed up their load times through reducing the amount of pixels on their pages.”

Roche further went on to describe how the independent ad-tech sector can reduce its reliance on third-party cookies by consolidating around a handful of such identifiers, such as ID5 as well as DigiTrust, etcetera.

In a prepared statement, Jochen Schlosser, CSO at Adform, said his company supports the trend toward using shared, centralized ID management solutions. “The concept of shared IDs provides the opportunity to stop ID proliferation and improve the quality of programmatic advertising,” he commented.

Romain Job, Smart CSO, added, “The integration with Prebid is a strong step forward for ID5 and a positive move for the ad-tech ecosystem. ID5 is an independent tech provider without conflict of interest, and a shared neutral identity solution is critical for our industry.”

Gael Demessant, programmatic director & yield management at Prisma Media, said, “At a time when demand sources are multiplying thanks to header bidding, it is very important to have the best possible match rates with all of them in order to compete with Google’s performance.”

The impetus for independent ad tech to consolidate around fewer identifiers was underlined earlier this year when Google confirmed it would clamp down on “opaque” tracking techniques, following Apple’s earlier example, through its planned depreciation of third-party cookies in the Chrome web browser.

In 2017, Apple announced it would introduce intelligent tracking prevention, a move it claimed was to protect Safari users from over-zealous online ad targeting through cookie-bombing, a move that drew the ire of online advertisers. Regardless, Apple has since pushed ahead with this policy with certain observers drawing a correlation between this restriction in online ad targeting capabilities (and subsequent downturn in revenue) along with the spate of cutbacks among online publishers at the end of last year.

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