Digital POV: Ad Tech Players Partner For Shared Identity Matching


Seven Independent ad tech companies set up a programmatic consortium to sync the cookies from their respective demand side and supply side platforms to create a universal identity asset. The consortium is managed by AppNexus, MediaMath and LiveRamp, who will also provide data matching. Other launch partners include Index Exchange, Rocket Fuel, LiveIntent and OpenX. This consortium will allow advertisers in an open internet to have more precise targeting and cross-device matching with universal cookie IDs.

Details and Implications

Google and Facebook have their own deterministic identities for users on their platforms which facilitates more precise targeting and cross-device targeting. However, there has been a challenge when it comes to the open internet with the lack of deterministic data and consolidated universal cookie IDs to better identify and target users with precision.

The newly formed ad tech consortium will use first party data from advertisers and logged in data from publishers to consolidate, synchronize and create a universal identity set for an open internet environment. This will be at the back of the combined reach of AppNexus, Index Exchange and OpenX which will give huge scale to the advertisers and at the same time a better match rate of the data across devices.

Marketers and publishers who are part of the consortium will get free access to the shared universal cookie pool. LiveRamp’s IdentityLink cross-device graph will be extended to the campaigns for better identification of the data across devices and create one universal cookie of the users. However, for now only customers of IdentityLink will have access to consortium cross-devices graph feature.

There was obviously a requirement for the consolidation of the data beyond just the largest companies. The consortium is a great start towards making one universal cookie ID pool to give advertisers better identifiable data to facilitate a more personalised style of communication. This will help advertisers to be more holistic and less dependent on the closed networks such as Facebook and Google.


There was a definite need for someone to initiate the democratization of the data which will hopefully encourage more companies to further contribute to this consortium and help to develop it further. This step will certainly help the industry towards more standardization around a common identity and towards the creation of a personalized marketing experience.

Whether this consortium will be able to challenge Google and Facebook who at present account for 48 percent of all digital advertising dollars still remains to be seen. However, Google and Facebook’s control over the industry has recently sparked some concerns over the accuracy of the data they provide on campaigns, whereas the consortium plans to address these issues by working with numerous publishers. Will this move encourage a more open internet environment and see the likes of Google and Facebook contribute towards the universal standardized identity asset? Only time will tell.