The Future of the Open Web Relies on Addressability

A shift in the digital advertising paradigm

Addressability and the growth and development of digital media and programmatic are inseparable. While universally matched tools like mobile ad IDs (MAIDs) and third-party cookies once streamlined targeted advertising, it’s becoming more complex as the digital landscape transforms with fresh identifiers and new technologies.

Rather than simply adapting, the industry is responding with innovation and collaboration, building a new and robust foundation anchored in privacy and security.

The opportunities behind new identifiers

Unlike the ubiquity of third-party cookies, where virtually anyone could create their identifier, new identifiers (e.g., UID 2.0, ID5, RampID) are more exclusive. Only the original developers possess the means to encrypt or hash these identifiers. This uniqueness helps privacy but also creates a significant disparity as no two representations of the same consumer, whether on a device or browser, are identical.

This multi-ID landscape introduces fragmentation, which mandates a neutral identity foundation to bridge the gap between these universal IDs and other forms of identifiers.

Even as economic dynamics shift from “free” cookies to profit-oriented IDs, the industry is paving the way for better data accuracy and security. Neutral identity solutions are swiftly emerging to resolve fragmentation, ensuring robust and efficient connectivity across a more fragmented landscape. Beyond the solutions, the transition to updated enablement is fostering a new wave of collaboration in the industry, and efforts to streamline and standardize processes are in full swing.

The future of data collaboration

The fragmented landscape adds complexity to data sharing, especially when middle players become prominent. Clean rooms have rapidly become a major presence. In the context of digital advertising, a clean room is a fortified enclave where data undergoes analysis, keeping raw data concealed. Such environments are indispensable for privacy-centric data matching. Yet, the industry remains uncertain about integrating clean rooms into activation and measurement blueprints.

As the digital ad industry becomes more comfortable with clean rooms, their integration into activation and measurement strategies will become clearer. Buying, targeting and measuring ads is transforming, and the industry is gearing up for more collaborative and transparent systems.

The emphasis on private marketplace (PMP) architectures signifies this shift—offering more customized audience insights and promising enhanced collaboration. Here, too, there is a big role for neutral identity enablement, both for helping interoperability between clean rooms and for matching and enriching data within them.

The role of neutral independent enablers

The evolving landscape of digital advertising underscores the need for neutral, independent entities that can harmonize and stabilize an increasingly complex and fragmented ecosystem. Companies like Experian are at the forefront of this movement, aiming to bridge the gaps created by fragmentation. By providing a standardized and consistent framework, such independent enablers can mitigate the challenges presented by diverse platforms and varying identifiers. This approach not only ensures that data remains accessible and actionable across various platforms but does so while maintaining the privacy and integrity demanded by the new ecosystem.

Neutral enablement providers become essential guardians of compatibility in situations where interoperability is critical. Their role is not just about connecting the dots but ensuring that the entire digital advertising landscape communicates fluently, regardless of the specific technologies or platforms in use.

As the industry grapples with the complexities of a more private yet robust advertising ecosystem, the significance of neutral, independent enablers, cannot be overstated. Their commitment to fostering a compatible, addressable ecosystem is not just about navigating the present but shaping a cohesive and prosperous digital advertising future.

As SVP of sales and partnerships, Chris Feo has over a decade of experience across identity, data and programmatic. Chris joined Experian during the Tapad acquisition in November 2020.