Identity Resolution

Google clarifies its plans for targeted advertising—and what that means for you

March 3, 2021  |   Travis Clinger

Over a year ago, Google announced its plan to phase out support for third-party cookies in Chrome. Today, Google provided further guidance on their vision for the cookieless future, announcing that they would be focusing their buy-side technology on Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC) and not leveraging other identifiers for their programmatic buy-side platform. Google highlighted the importance of first-party data and developing strong, direct consumer relationships – a truth LiveRamp has long championed. Google also acknowledged that ultimately the publisher controls their relationship with the consumer, and they will support other IDs on their sell-side platform.

Google previewed their news with us before today’s announcement, and we view their announcement as very much in line with what we’ve been advocating for years. Third-party cookies were a flawed identifier and caused the industry to lose the trust of the consumer. We have an opportunity to restore that trust through strong first-party relationships, and as an industry, we should lean into transparency and control for the consumer. We believe LiveRamp’s Authenticated Traffic Solution (ATS) embraces all of these ideas. ATS enables direct connections between a publisher’s inventory to marketer first-, second-, and third-party data via a consented value exchange. It’s not a single sign-on, nor is it a co-op using authentication on one publisher to power authentication on another. It connects authenticated inventory across publishers, where the consumer has shared consent with each publisher, to enable marketers to buy at scale. ATS does exactly what Google is calling for – restore the trust of the consumer.

What does this mean for marketers?

In short – marketers will continue to be able to buy people-based inventory on DV360 using LiveRamp.

We enable marketers to use DV360 to buy people-based inventory via Private Marketplace (PMP) deals across the world’s largest SSPs – including Index Exchange and Magnite. To add to that growing list, we’re excited to announce today our newest integration with Xandr.

Audience-based PMP buys enable marketers to match their data directly on the supply-side to any and all publishers integrated with that SSP – giving marketers a better chance to win a bid opportunity and access more premium inventory, while not needing to do 1:1 publisher-level deals. In fact, in a campaign with Goodway Group and Index Exchange, a national retail client saw 3x higher reach when transacting on LiveRamp’s people-based identifier through PMP buys, compared to third-party cookies. When Fitbit ran a similar A/B test using LiveRamp vs. third-party cookies, it doubled its ROAS, decreased cost-per-page-view by 34%, and increased average order value by 13%.

Marketers can buy audience-based PMP deals through DV360, and marketers are actively running campaigns on Google leveraging ATS through our exchange integrations.

What does this mean for publishers?

This reinforces the need for publishers to develop authenticated and trusted consumer relationships. Google has indicated that their exchange may support these identifiers, and every other major exchange is already supporting ATS. Every publisher should view this blog as a reminder that the cookie is ending soon, and now is the time to implement post-cookie authenticated addressability. Publishers should also consider this as a call to action around increasing consumer authentication rates. We believe every publisher should aim to have an authentication of at least 30%. While authentications won’t cover every impression, we know that they will drive a disproportionate amount of publisher revenue. Cookies already don’t work on 40% of the internet.

What does this mean for LiveRamp?

This move by Google validates our strategy and increases the pace of moving towards a cookieless world. Our mission remains the same: to put consumer privacy first and foremost. ATS is designed to stand the test of time by ensuring that consumers can opt-in to a clear value exchange, just as they do on the largest social platforms. The industry has recognised the need to move away from the third-party cookie and that’s why over the last several quarters, we have witnessed the ecosystem rally around ATS and authenticated approaches. To date, more than 340 publishers worldwide have adopted it in the U.S., UK, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Australia, and Japan, including 70% of the U.S. Comscore top 20, and 60% of the U.S. Comscore top 50. Additionally, more than 25 supply-side platforms and 45 demand-side platforms have adopted support of the LiveRamp identifier for activation and measurement, helping publishers, marketers, and the industry as a whole collaboratively deliver addressability.

What you can do to prepare now

Cookie deprecation is on the clock, and those that don’t move quickly will be left behind in the coming months. As it relates to today’s announcement, we would encourage marketers using DV360 as their buy-side platform to start transacting on LiveRamp’s ID via Private Marketplace deals across the SSPs who support ATS. These campaigns perform better today, can increase reach on Safari and Firefox, and ensure that marketers are set up for future success.

Ready to learn more or get started? Send us an email at ats@liveramp.com.