a likely near future for web ads
07 February 2020
(update 10 Feb 2019: Add link to Scott Howe piece, some extra material)
LiveRamp’s Authenticated Traffic Solution (ATS) is creating more chances to match online users based on email. Publishers using ATS ask readers to submit their email for free access to content. That email address can potentially be matched to the IdentityLink profile, creating a chance for one-to-one targeting without having cookies, and with clear consent because the email was given to the site. Howe said LiveRamp has 12 SSPs and 30 DSPs buying on ATS or committed to its adoption.
One possible future for post-cookie web advertising is going to work something like this: if you're signed in to a site, you're going to get something pretty close to adtech as usual, except limited to the group of sites where you're willing to sign in. So if two publishers can both use a registration wall to get your email (or SSO that maps to your email, which is basically the same thing) then the same ads will "follow" you across both those sites, and you'll see ads targeted based on loyalty programs you opt into. Big upgrade for publishers from the conventional third-party cookie, because crappy and fraudulent sites will have a hard time getting your email or SSO. For advertisers, the game of tag, trying to get ads in front of specific people, continues, except that the boundaries for the game are brought in to include only sites that can get people past the reg wall. LiveRamp CEO Scott Howe explains, in Why Addressability Will Flourish In A Cookieless World | AdExchanger.
Fraud doesn't go away entirely in this scenario, but the difficulty of fraud schemes does shift, and tends to make mobile and addressable TV more attractive fraud targets.