Horizon Media Picks TransUnion To Underpin Its Data Platform

Horizon Media said Thursday it has partnered with TransUnion to provide the people-based identity layer for its data platform, Blu.

TransUnion’s deterministic identity graph covers all US adult individuals with privacy compliant, PII-based data spanning names, addresses, emails, mobile IDs and home IP addresses.

Clients can append first- and third-party data sets to TransUnion’s identity layer, which has more than 800 attributes, for media activation and measurement. Horizon calls this identifier Blu ID.

“That deterministic ID individual, along with other data partners and the data we get from media partners, gives us a holistic identity framework and a full picture of the consumer journey,” said Laura McElhinney, chief data officer at Horizon Media.

Clients can access the Blue ID through their demand-side platform or data management platform of choice and build media plans that target business outcomes, do closed-loop attribution and follow consumers along their cross-platform journey.

Horizon previously relied on cookies, manual inputs and third-party aggregators for its data needs. In partnering with TransUnion, the agency is prepping for the death of the third-party cookie.

“As Laura’s teams build marketing strategies and create micro-segments off of that data set, they know they’re reaching the people they intend to reach,” said Matt Spiegel, EVP of digital marketing solutions at TransUnion.

Horizon is following in the footsteps of agency competitors. IPG and Publicis have spent billions of dollars to acquire first-party data assets and expertise with Acxiom and Epsilon, respectively, and Omnicom has invested significantly in its homegrown Omni data platform for years.

The independent agency is admittedly “late to the game” in building a people-based data platform, McElhinney said. “But that allowed us to look at mistakes made in the marketplace and be smart about how we approached this,” she added.

Horizon was attracted to the scale of TransUnion’s data set, which covers all US adults and has a 99.9% match rate, and the robustness of its security infrastructure due to operating in the credit reporting business for more than 50 years. Other data platforms are based on older technology that’s not as adaptable for a cookieless world, McElhinney said.

“We have a very nimble, adaptable infrastructure that allows our clients to own their own data,” she added.

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