Home Programmatic E.W. Scripps Is The First CTV Publisher To Adopt The Trade Desk’s OpenPass

E.W. Scripps Is The First CTV Publisher To Adopt The Trade Desk’s OpenPass


Inventory curation was once a buy-side service. But it’s shifting to the sell side, thanks to signal loss.

Not if The Trade Desk has anything to say about it, though.

OpenPass, The Trade Desk’s single sign-on (SSO) product for user authentication, has gained traction among publishers and their monetization platforms. And on Monday, E.W. Scripps announced it will be the first CTV publisher to adopt the product.

The Trade Desk has added CTV buyers and sellers to the UID 2.0 program, including Scripps. But OpenPass, which launched last year, creates an opportunity for Scripps to widen its scale by increasing the number of UID2s it sees, Michael O’Neil, VP of programmatic sales at Scripps, told AdExchanger.

The Trade Desk pitches OpenPass as an identity differentiator – not necessarily as a curation tool – but the more information the publisher has about its audience, O’Neil said, the more effectively it can package and curate inventory.

Which is, in part, why The Trade Desk considers OpenPass another weapon in its arsenal to help open publishers “neutralize a lot of the advantages of walled gardens, which have a ton of identity [data] and scale,” said Will Doherty, VP of inventory at The Trade Desk. And CTV is very much a part of the open web, he added.

The push for OpenPass

OpenPass is a publisher tool that allows users to access sites by providing their email, rather than repeatedly logging in with a password. Once users verify their email, publishers get an authenticated address they can turn into an identifier – in Scripps’ case, a UID2.

OpenPass does not automatically turn a signal into a UID2, Doherty said. Publishers can include that signal within whichever identity framework they choose. “Every publisher manages [identity] differently,” he said. But, naturally, The Trade Desk considers OpenPass as a next step to UID2.

Scripps, for example, already uses UID2, so it expects OpenPass to help raise the number of UID2s it has to target and measure traffic across its streaming and web properties, which include Ion, Court TV and Bounce TV.

Additional signal gives Scripps a better understanding of its audience, O’Neil said, which will help it better package inventory for advertisers based on the type of viewer they want to reach. It should also help advertisers manage reach and frequency across channels.


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It’s show time

O’Neil said that goal of giving buyers more information about their audiences also pairs well with one of Scripps’ self-proclaimed value props: show-level transparency.

The major holding companies are (still) asking publishers for show-level data, O’Neil said, which many publishers refuse to share because they’re worried advertisers will cherry-pick inventory. Scripps sees that gap as a competitive advantage.

Scripps passes show-level data at the network, program and episode level, O’Neil said, using data obfuscation tactics to ensure the data it passes in the bid stream can’t be used to profile, reidentify or retarget viewers.

Paired with show-level data, audience targeting improvements mean higher CPMs may also be in the cards for Scripps.

In short, O’Neil said, “OpenPass equals more [buy-side] investment.”

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