Washington Post subscribes to new online advertising tool

The Washington Post became the first major publisher to sign up for a new way to target online advertising to its readers, as the advertising world seeks a successor to the cookies that currently underpin digital advertising.

The identity system developed by the American adtech company The Trade Desk is based on registering users for a single identifier, potentially linked to their e-mail address or mobile phone number, which they can use to log in. on several sites.

Publishers can then track their behavior across different devices, helping marketers identify who viewed their posts and determine which sites contributed to a successful campaign.

It is one of the most watched attempts to find a successor to the cookie, the cross-site contentious trackers that Apple has banned and Google will phase out by 2022.

The Washington Post announced that it will adopt the Trade Desk identity system and also make it available to more than 100 other online publishers who use its Zeus software to manage their own sites.

Others, including Vox Media and BuzzFeed, have also said the system appears to meet many requirements to replace cookies, but they are still considering alternatives.

“Nobody really knows what will happen in 2022,” said Jarrod Dicker, head of business technology at the Post. “We want to be prepared and have a say in this [the landscape] looks like. ”The media company is also considering other identity systems and will likely use several, he said.

The next year will likely see a battle between a number of rival ID systems, each trying to earn a central place in the online media system. Most in the industry expect only a small number to gain traction.

“Ultimately, it can turn out to be a win-win [market], but everyone is about to support several [systems]”said Nicole Perrin, analyst at eMarketer.

Identification systems do not replace all behavioral data from cookies, but they promise a more efficient way to establish identity. They also resolve many of the current cookie privacy concerns, as users must actively register to use the services.

“We shouldn’t be trying to get what we have today – it’s a complete mess for the industry,” Dicker said.

Many publishers are also hoping that being able to identify more users will help them fight Facebook, Google and Amazon, which have much more personal data thanks to the large number of users logged into their services.

But Dave Pond, head of media strategy at BuzzFeed, called for credentials “to be decentralized” to prevent a single company from controlling user data and gaining too much power in the industry.

In an effort to woo publishers, the Trade Desk announced that it would open up its technology and cede control of its identity system, known as Unified ID2.0. Michelle Hulst, chief data and strategy officer, said the company was in “active discussions” with groups in the advertising industry over the idea, and control was likely to be shared between a number of people. number of organizations.

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