LiveRamp Adds Connected TV IDs To IdentityLink

LiveRamp has added connected TV IDs to IdentityLink, its cross-device identity graph, the company said during its Monday Q4 2018 earnings report.

Connected TV IDs are tied to a home IP address, and are used to distinguish households by companies that serve ads over smart TVs or OTT services, including some smart TV manufacturers, multichannel video programming distributors (cable and satellite providers like Comcast, AT&T”s DirecTV or Charter) and OTT platforms like Hulu or Roku.

LiveRamp’s one and a half year old addressable TV business connected IdentityLink’s digital identifiers – browser cookies, mobile operating system IDs and smartphone device IDs – to households provided by streamers and broadcasters, said Allison Metcalfe, the company’s GM of TV.

But the connected TV IDs are the first device identifiers in the IdentityLink data set that aren’t personal devices like phones or computers. But as more consumption moves to smart TVs and OTT hardware, Metcalfe said programmers need connected TV IDs to be more compatible with digital media standards.

IdentityLink For TV

DISH has been working with LiveRamp for more than a year, but integrating connected TV IDs with IdentityLink expands the potential opportunities with the platform, said Kevin Arrix, SVP of DISH media sales. With better match rates DISH’s overall addressable reach will improve, he said, as will as some experience issues like frequency capping and mis-targeted ads.

LiveRamp’s addition of connected TV IDs will also improve attribution for data-driven TV players.

“Using cookies and mobile IDs doesn’t provide full coverage,” considering 85% of Hulu’s audience consumption last year came from smart TVs or OTT devices, said Julie DeTraglia, Hulu’s head of research. “We know many customers use LiveRamp for targeting and measurement, and if they’re not getting the full footprint then it’s never going to appropriately represent how their campaigns are doing.”

The connected TV IDs are particularly useful to connect ad spend to store sales, a powerful driver of value for addressable TV inventory, DeTraglia said. Hulu attributes sales lift with help from retail ad tech partners like Nielsen Catalina Solutions (NCS) and IRI, which have access to some in-store purchase data. NCS’s or IRI’s programmatic businesses are based on digital identity standards like cookies and smartphone IDs, but now those will connect to television IDs without requiring an additional sync from digital devices to a household.

Introducing connected TV IDs to IdentityLink will even improve campaigns that never run on TVs or OTT services, Metcalfe said. Highly engaged connected TV households may watch lots of ad-free content on the big screen in the living room, for instance, but now they can be packaged into valuable segments for social or digital video campaigns.

Also, connected TV IDs are much more durable, since cookies disappear when they are cleared or with operating system updates.

LiveRamp Earnings           

Alongside news of its connected TV data integrations, LiveRamp reported revenues of $80 million the previous quarter, up 35% from the same period the year before.

LiveRamp’s SaaS-based data onboarding business accounted for $65 million in the quarter. The company added 30 new direct customers, including BMW, NextDoor and the personal finance app NerdWallet, and the number of clients with contracts of more than $1 million per year grew from 31 to 42 in 2018.

Facebook’s removal of third-party data from its platform hit Acxiom hard, but LiveRamp, as a separate entity, seems to have recovered. Following Facebook’s decision, its data marketplace sales totaled $15 million last quarter, up 13% year-over-year. And LiveRamp’s data market grew 91% excluding the portion of its sales that went to Facebook in 2017.

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