Cookieless tech is coming out of the woodwork.
With third-party cookies on the road to nowhere, data management platform Audigent has been working to develop its own cookieless identifier, which it’s calling the Hadron ID. Audigent hopes the new identifier will keep the company competitive in a world where DMPs are being supplanted by customer data platforms.
The Hadron ID relies on a mix of first-party data (code on the page and direct publisher integrations), deterministic identifiers (consented mobile ad IDs, IP addresses and data from Audigent’s own device graph), probabilistic identifiers (pulled from historical and real-time publisher data and census data), content-based IDs (coming from direct integrations with a publisher’s CMS) and contextual data (via direct integrations and page-level metadata).
It’s interoperable, which means it can be used across a variety of different ad buying and sell-side platforms and encrypted to make it privacy safe, said Audigent CEO Drew Stein.
“We built a framework or a container that takes different kinds of identifiers – audience-based, contextual, deterministic and probabilistic – and creates an encrypted, encoded and compressed shorthand,” Stein said.
Audigent recently completed an alpha test of the Hadron ID with one of its close publisher partners, Warner Music Group-owned entertainment and pop culture news site UPROXX.
The pilot run encompassed 9.15 million ad requests on UPROXX’s desktop and mobile sites. The majority of these (81.05%) contained a Hadron ID that could be used to reach audiences through UPROXX’s DSP partners. Ad opportunities that used the Hadron ID drove 2.3 times more demand than those that used cookie-based identifiers.
The UPROXX test was only focused on addressability, but subsequent tests of display and video ads using the Hadron ID showed a 12% to 68% reduction in cost per click, an up to 3x increase in the clickthrough rate and a 9% to 27% uptick in video completion rate. CPMs were roughly the same in Audigent’s private marketplace as they were across the open exchange.
Based on the results of the UPROXX pilot, Warner Music Group plans to expand use of the Hadron ID to its other sites following necessary infrastructure and CMS upgrades. Audigent is also planning a beta rollout of the Hadron ID to key publisher partners in Q2 of this year.
“UPROXX provided the right size pool to test this out and to build from,” said Paul Josephsen, chief strategy officer for WMX, Warner Music Group’s recently launched first-party media platform.
“When we expand that out to broader WMX, we’re thinking about our YouTube inventory, our artist ecosystem, and it becomes vital to know about fans and what’s driving their digital engagement,” Josephsen said. “The cookie going away puts all of that at risk, but [with the Hadron ID] we don’t really feel that risk.”
The Hadron ID was developed by Audigent, and its alpha test for UPROXX used technology from MediaMath, Freestar and The Media Grid. Although, in this case, The Media Grid and Freestar provided the SSP infrastructure to generate a deal ID and MediaMath served as the DSP, the Hadron ID can be integrated by any SSP or DSP.
The Hadron ID is deployed via the header bidder in Prebid’s Real-Time Data module. Header bidding is attractive to publishers because it allows them to sell more premium inventory to advertisers, Stein said.
“Rather than everything being commoditized in what I’ll call the open exchange soup, [header bidding] allows for the publishers to better monetize their inventory by sending more premium signals into the ecosystem,” Stein said. “If you’re 2.3 times more likely to monetize through more premium channels, you’re going to be making more money over the long term.”
Because the Hadron ID is encrypted, the data is only accessible to the parties selling the ad inventory and the buyers who are purchasing against the deal ID.
“The problem with [cookie-based transactions] is that they broadcast into the bidstream an identifier that many people could use and tie back to PII or keep for their own good,” said Stein, who noted that the Hadron ID doesn’t operate that way.
“Identity is kept to a very tight loop of people, and that identity can be dynamically created on page and encrypted in a way that it can only be actioned by the people who are in that value chain, not all the other people who are aping data from the bidstream,” Stein said.
The Hadron ID was also designed to provide publishers and advertisers with a platform that allows them to find their audience using technology to which they’re already accustomed.
“One of the benefits to brands is that it’s seamless, it’s not disruptive to their current way of buying media, and because of that, we’re not asking them to really change anything,” Josephsen said.