AppLovin And The Trade Desk Sign Direct Buying Deal And Unified ID 2.0 Integration

AppLovin and The Trade Desk announced twin news items today. The mobile gaming and advertising giant launched an integration with the Unified ID 2.0 (UID2) product, and The Trade Desk will start buying directly from AppLovin for the first time.

The Trade Desk had bought AppLovin inventory before, but via the MoPub exchange. The Trade Desk had never had contractual terms directly with AppLovin partly because it’s a hybrid walled garden type company. The Trade Desk doesn’t buy ads on Snapchat or Facebook, for instance.

But The Trade Desk needed an alternative: The MoPub mobile ad exchange and SDK, which AppLovin acquired last year, were both shuttered at the end of March. The tech has now been folded into the AppLovin SDK and exchange, and customers have been transition to the new platform (or are no longer customers).

The Trade Desk has historically been a major demand partner for MoPub, said Meagan Martino, AppLovin head of demand for EMEA and the Americas, who came to AppLovin with the acquisition.

“Getting The Trade Desk to migrate and transition to AppLovin was one of the top priorities for my team,” she said.

More than 120 DSPs do plug into AppLovin, Martino said. But they’re predominantly mobile-focused performance marketers that target app installs or reengagement within one of the AppLovin portfolio of apps. The Trade Desk brings in a different category of advertiser. The omnichannel DSP brings in “net new budgets on mobile,” Martino said, and advertisers that optimize to different KPIs.

AppLovin owns its own suite of games, which also makes this partnership yet another direct-to-supply deal for The Trade Desk. The DSP works directly with broadcasters for CTV supply, for instance, without a third-party SSP in between. And in February The Trade Desk launched a supply-path optimization (SPO) product OpenPath, which disintermediates SSPs and exchanges by cutting direct publisher deals.

“AppLovin has a critical place in the world of SPO and directness, which is critical now to how The Trade Desk thinks about partnering and prioritization of supply,” Martino said.

Incorporating UID2 is also important for AppLovin to be “part of the identity conversation,” she said. Advertisers who are testing first-party data platforms and advertising ID solutions that work without cookie-based data or mobile ad IDs are often doing so with The Trade Desk and with UID2, she said, so it’s important for AppLovin to be part of those tests.

MoPub had spoken with LiveRamp previously about its advertising ID service, she said. But MoPub and now AppLovin have only integrated with UID2, among the open web ad ID products.

The integration with UID2 is unrelated to the direct supply deal between The Trade Desk and AppLovin – The Trade Desk can buy the inventory without the ID. But AppLovin gets a strategic new demand partner and UID2 gets a sweet feather in its cap – AppLovin is the first mobile-native in-app exchange to sign on.

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