LiveIntent Is Preparing to Debut Its Own Onboarding Service

Company promises people-based marketing services to rival LiveRamp

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LiveIntent is rolling out its own data onboarding service, claiming it will better serve the needs of advertisers and publishers in an industry undergoing a fundamental privacy overhaul and increasingly dominated by a few big names.

The new service is expected to debut early next month, will operate on a pay-as-you-go model (an element it claims will remove inhibitors such as upfront costs) and lets publishers improve their advertising offering by allowing them to onboard advertiser segments directly to their first-party identifiers.

LiveIntent claimed its onboarding service will pose a credible alternative to existing services–LiveRamp is widely recognized as the market leader–including an alternative to the “one-size-fits-all solutions and dependence upon third-party identifiers” and better control over their first-party data.

The new initiative will be led by industry vet Brian Silver, who recently joined from Verizon’s ad-tech unit Oath, where he was responsible for global revenue operations, including Yahoo Mail–LiveIntent’s audience graph of more than 245 million logged-in users is a key part of its onboarding service.

LiveIntent’s founder and CEO Matt Keiser said the service will give brands and publishers the ability to better leverage their first-party data (such as registered email addresses) particularly as the cookie loses its prominence.

“Our new service democratizes onboarding and returns control back to the wellspring’s producers, giving premium brands and publishers the best opportunity to compete in a changing digital world,” Keiser said.

LiveIntent has a relationship with a host of tier one publishers including The Washington Post and helps them better target communications within their emails to registered users by organizing the first-party data of its customers.

This “instrumenting” of first-party digital data creates further possibilities for advertisers targeting specific audience types, as the onboarding of offline audience data can then be associated with online identifiers.

Publishers leveraging LiveIntent’s onboarding service will have the opportunity to pass audience exposure data back to media buyers, for example. LiveIntent contends this addresses a long-standing complaint from advertisers that media buys they perform in the industry’s walled gardens yield inadequate performance data, as they only receive aggregated audience data sets in return.

The launch has also received the backing of some of the industry’s most respected names, including former AppNexus CEO Brian O’Kelley, who said the development of such a service is something that “needs to happen”  if industry practitioners are to better match people across channels.

O’Kelley added, “Any given computer or cookie, if you will, has multiple email addresses, has multiple contacts and that changes all the time … and the people that truly know people-based identity are publishers that have an actual relationship with people.”

This places email addresses, the primary CRM data assets held by most publishers, at the core of the relationship. O’Kelley added, “This really does unlock a lot of solutions for a lot of brands.”

Gary Deutsch, LiveIntent CFO, pointed to the rollout of tracking prevention initiative such as Apple’s ITP rollout in its Safari browser as underlining the importance of advertisers and publishers to better leverage such first-party data.

“Third-party cookies are at risk and may ultimately go away and in this world, the publisher ultimately has the opportunity to become a gatekeeper role in stewarding consent-based user data,” Deutsch told Adweek. “Email is the best way for them to do that.”

Christian Hendricks, president of the Local Media Consortium, a trade organization that represents more than 2,500 local media brands in the U.S., told Adweek that such solutions could better help its members monetize their inventory. This includes potentially removing the need to auction inventory off cheaply using ad tech.

“Most U.S. publishers trade their owned and operated inventory programmatically because there’s a lack of scale and also not enough [actionable] first-party data to sell it on an individual basis,” Hendricks said. “But if you could flip that and get better data then you’ll start to see a change in fortunes.”

@ronan_shields Ronan Shields is a programmatic reporter at Adweek, focusing on ad-tech.