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Unified ID 2.0 enters beta this week, a chance for advertisers to see the identifier in action

Unified ID 2.0 (UID 2.0), the third-party cookie alternative created by The Trade Desk, enters beta this week. That means advertisers will finally be able to start transacting on impressions using the identifier and incorporate it into their bids. The beta test follows Google’s recent declaration that it will not be allowing integration of certain user-level identifiers in its ad stack, a decision that sparked controversy and questions about the future of any industry effort to replace third-party cookies with a user-level identifier.

This beta will be an important stage in UID 2.0’s development, as advertisers get the chance to see the identifier in action. UID 2.0 has been building momentum in the digital media industry as more and more companies join the project, with LiveRamp, fuboTV, and SpotX among its newest participants. The identifier project also took two important steps toward broader industry recognition: submitting its code to the Partnership for Responsible Addressable Media (PRAM) for review in January, and announcing in February that nonprofit organization Prebid.org will serve as UID 2.0’s independent operator. With the identifier entering beta, we should see the rate of companies adopting UID 2.0 accelerate, assuming the identifier proves popular with beta testers.

Experimenting with alternatives to third-party cookies will continue to be a priority for the digital advertising industry in 2021, as the cookieless era draws closer. With Chrome expected to deprecate third-party cookies next year, 2021 will be an important year for media buyers and publishers to test and finalize their approach to a cookieless future. Only about half (48%) of US data professionals who worked for brand advertisers said their company was prepared to handle forthcoming cookie changes, per January 2021 polling by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). That’s compared with 86% of those at ad tech or data companies, and 70% of those at publishers, who believed their firms were ready to tackle this new privacy environment.

For more insight into this topic, read our “Ad Measurement and Revenue Attribution 2021” report here.