SSPs everyone’s best friend

In the face of privacy headwinds and a renewed focus on quality data to drive both direct and programmatic, Digiday suggests that SSPs want to be the preferred way publishers scale their data to advertisers.  Given that publishers’ first party data can only be used within their own walls, buyers & publishers alike want ways of scaling it in a privacy-safe way across the open web.  While contextual and cohort modelling are being adopted to scale first party data, it’s important to understand that SSPs will play a key role too, particularly where they work directly with data platforms that can enrich first party data assets.

Magnite, for instance, is working with the IAB Tech Lab to define some of the standards needed to facilitate audience buying across multiple publishers, such as a common taxonomy.

“In these ecosystems, the first-party cookies are inherently per-site and don’t have any cross-site abilities. Here, it’s the SSP that still has a cross internet view of things.”

Garret mcgrath, magnite vp of product management

Publishers’ propensity to share first party IDs is leading to different approaches ranging from full-sharing to allow buyers to manage programmatic on those specific sites – with easier frequency capping & measurement – to sharing only data associated with first party IDs. These strategies will require for publishers to remain agnostic & interoperable, and align their IDs with those that are used by their buyers. Buyers themselves could be getting closer to SSPs with Xandr’s Joshua Turner believing that buyer-SSP partnerships are the next programmatic evolution.

SSP innovation is clearly a significant area for identity: Bringing buyers and sellers closer together in programmatic can create the scale and operational benefits of RTB-based open auction transactions, with the detail, control and transparency associated with direct sales.  This is why Carbon and SmartRTB – a combined SSP and ad exchange – work so effectively together.  Leveraging Carbon’s first party audience data capabilities and global publishing inventory with Smart’s unique demand stack, intelligent bidder and dynamic ad units provide publishers with unified revenue operations in one platform.

Control and opt-out drivers

The latest study to reveal that consumers want more control over ads served came from MAGNA/Brave who reported that nearly 8-in-10 consumers would prefer more control over ad blocking rather than blocking all ads.  Therefore It’s imperative that we give full transparency and make it easier for consumers to make that informed choice, with simple ability to opt-out of tracking too.

For instance, the NAI launched a new op-out for email-linked ads to give consumers more control over the use of their email addresses for ad targeting.  At this point the mechanism won’t work for email matching done by services such as Facebook and LiveRamp, whilst there are also questions about how it will work with email-based identifiers such as UID2.  Consumer Reports’ Justin Brookman called the approach “weak sauce”. Referencing how buried and difficult to understand opt-outs often are, Brookman furthers the argument for more education and transparency.

Digiday covered the NAI’s initiative in more detail posing questions such as how it will impact targeting inside Google’s owned properties, with Google having committed to the initiative.

Google unveils timeline

Google has shown signs of more transparency into their privacy-driven identity initiatives with a Privacy Sandbox timeline.  Most of the initiatives detailed are in the “discussion” phase and these deadlines are more like quarterly targets that could change depending upon testing, with Google updating the timeline monthly.  The Privacy Sandbox transition period is currently scheduled for Q4 2022 and will include APIs for publishers to begin the migration of their services.  Digiday’s cheat sheet on Google’s timeline covers the key points.

More adspend growth

Impressive ad spend figures were reported this week as 70p of every £1 in UK ad ecosystem is being invested in digital formats with UK adspend to grow 18.2% to £27.7bn in 2021 according to AA/Warc.  Google’s ad revenue continues to explode surpassing $50bn for the first time (up 68.9% YoY) with YouTube the fastest growing category – at 83.7% YoY; while Facebook registered $29bn revenue (up 50% YoY) of which $28.5bn came from advertising.

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Carbon is now part of Magnite.