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Unified ID 2.0 gains momentum as industry giants embrace privacy-focused advertising

The news: The Trade Desk’s Unified ID 2.0 (UID2) cookie alternative is racking up some impressive wins:

  • Warner Bros. Discovery just announced it will incorporate UID2 into its digital platforms, including streaming services Max and Discovery+, allowing advertisers to use their own data to target audiences and foster better personalization and ad relevance.
  • Meanwhile, Walmart Connect announced it is testing the integration of UID2 in partnership with The Trade Desk.

Publishers already incorporating UID2 include BuzzFeed, Billboard, Fubo, and The Washington Post; demand-side platforms that have adopted the standard include MediaMath, Magnite, OpenX, and Xandr. Customer data platforms and clean rooms from Snowflake, Tealium, and LiveRamp all support the technology. Roughly 75% of the third-party data ecosystem is leveraging UID2s on its platform, according to comments made by CEO Jeff Green on The Trade Desk’s Q1 earnings call.

Talk nerdy to me: UID2 is an industry-supported identity solution that focuses on user privacy while ensuring personalized advertising.

  • UID2 is a privacy-centric identifier derived from a user's email address or phone number and completely independent of third-party cookies.

Why it matters: The adoption of Unified ID 2.0 is significant for advertisers and publishers.

  • For advertisers, UID2 provides various benefits, including using CRM data without compromising user privacy, streamlining identity resolution, and offering improved consumer privacy controls.
  • Publishers, on the other hand, can benefit from targeted audience engagement, frequency management across devices, and the delivery of personalized ad experiences.

Our take: The decision by WBD and Walmart Connect to embrace UID2 represents a shift in the digital advertising landscape. As third-party cookies face scrutiny and are phased out, alternative solutions that strike a balance between personalization and privacy are essential.

  • UID2 is a step in the right direction. By allowing advertisers to employ first-party data, it helps provide targeted content to the right audiences. And since UID2 is an open-source framework, in theory it could foster increased collaboration and innovation in the ad sector.
  • However, the successful deployment of UID2 will require careful implementation and monitoring to ensure that user data is handled responsibly. The advertising industry must foster trust with consumers by being transparent about how data is used and providing easy opt-out options.
  • Continued adoption by significant players could push UID2 toward becoming an industry standard in the near future.

Go further: Read our ID Resolution H1 2023 report