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MediaMath Chief Partnerships Officer on UID2 and the future of internet identity

A chocolate chip cookie dartboard crumbles as darts in the form of cursors fall to the ground

Illustration by Holly Warfield / Getty / The Current

The demand-side platform announces support for UID2.

As the advertising industry embraces new approaches to identity, MediaMath understands the importance of partnering with industry peers to pioneer new solutions that provide scale and options for advertisers. That’s why the prominent demand-side platform is announcing its support for Unified ID 2.0 (UID2), the open-source framework for identity, pioneered by The Trade Desk.

MediaMath, which works with more than 3,500 advertisers (such as IBM, Coca-Cola Latin America, and Flipkart), joins other ad tech players; publishers like Disney and Vox Media; marketing data aggregators such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Adobe; and holding companies like Interpublic Group (IPG) in support of UID2 and its aim to preserve the value exchange of free content for relevant advertising on the open internet while improving consumer privacy.

The Current spoke with Sylvain Le Borgne, chief partnerships officer and head of data and analytics at MediaMath, about what advertisers can expect with a UID2 integration, and what’s needed for new identity solutions to succeed.

Can you walk us through how advertisers can use UID2 on the MediaMath platform?
Advertisers on the MediaMath platform will be able to use the UID2 API to upload first-party data from their customer relationship management systems. MediaMath will also be able to bid on requests that contain UID2 IDs, and match UID2 IDs on its own platform through a data management platform. Advertisers will then be able to target first-party audiences that are based on UID2 IDs. This will unlock additional targetable users in cookieless environments, such as in Safari and Firefox browsers, and ones in the future — namely, Chrome, once Google deprecates third-party cookies.

What is needed for identity solutions to succeed in today’s changing ecosystem?
Brands will look to the identity solutions that deliver them three things. First, the most scale for their campaigns to ensure they are able to reach their users. Second, a solution that can offer them precision. This is most likely to be achieved through a deterministic solution such as UID2, although it can cause issues of scale. Finally, compliance – making sure that their identity solution incorporates informed user consent as well as clear and easy opt-outs. We’re expecting to see success in a variety of ID solutions leveraging different data sources.

What does this UID2 approach mean for the future of cross-channel measurement?
UID2 offers a robust, privacy-conscious solution based on a strong, unique, and ubiquitous identifier for cross-channel measurement. Broad-scale adoption by publishers will be key to providing meaningful metrics and analysis, and some challenges, like household measurement, will need to be overcome.

What hurdles remain in getting the industry to adopt alternate identity solutions like UID2?
The continued delay of deprecating third-party cookies in Chrome is slowing down many advertisers. But the savviest of brands understand the need to get ahead of the game and identify an identity strategy that works for their brands before third-party cookies cease to be an option. Scale will continue to be a hurdle to adoption, but as the identity market matures, we expect to see more and more adoption.

The conversation has been edited for clarity and brevity.