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Charting The Evolution of Digital Advertising identity: Q&A With ID5’s Davide Rosamilia

Matt Kaplan
Content Strategist
6 min read
Posted on April 11, 2022

In light of all of the changes happening around addressability, identity and privacy in digital advertising overall and mobile advertising specifically, especially on iOS, what does the present and future look like? For a deeper dive on the topic, I recently chatted with Davide Rosamilia, Product Director at ID5. Check it out! 

Top Quotes From Davide 

How App Publishers Are Thinking About Addressability and Identity Today: “This is a fairly new issue. From the recent changes with Apple, to Google announcing the sunsetting or limitations of the Android ID, some publishers have been taken a little bit by surprise. We have seen a difference between more traditional publishers, who also have a mobile app and who are therefore already used to identity issues on their website i.e. not having addressable traffic, and app developer entities, who are noticing that their addressable audience is reducing and who are asking themselves: ‘what am I going to do in the future?’” 

How App Publishers Are Thinking About Identity Solutions Today: “I think the past six months have probably seen the most activity, inquiries and interest. It's not just necessarily due to the app developers themselves, but it's also potentially caused by the demand side pushing them as well because the less addressable traffic they see, the less they invest, the less they spend.  

In most cases there is a generic digital umbrella team in an agency group, and there might be some mobile specialists, but they're all interconnected. The demand side is very familiar with identity solutions and limitations on the web. It's easier for them to make the move to mobile apps whilst app publishers are new to it.  

For the latter, identity solutions may be something that they’re exploring but they may also be thinking: ‘I don't need to invest time on this right now because there is no need.’ And, suddenly now they don't know how much time there is and it’s starting to become a pressing issue. And I think this trend is going to intensify from now until the end of 2023.” 

How App Publishers Are Making Their Ad Inventory More Addressable: “As we said before, hybrid publishers, who are active on both mobile and desktop, just want to implement a solution. There is not much education required as they understand the issue. It's just a change in the way the data is collected in different environments.  

For mobile app developers, it's more a learning phase. They’re asking: ‘what can identity do for me? How does it work?’” 

How To Ensure Interoperability With Mobile Advertising Identity Solutions: “There are solutions that can be found locally or in silos. A publisher can find a solution for themselves, for example. That can work for that publisher, but it will then potentially be of little value for the advertiser because they are buying across multiple publishers. You need multiple publisher solutions, which then raises the question: how do they work together? 

For buyers, the solution needs to be at a platform level, so that it’s available across all multiple publishers. Publishers will still be the data owners as they are the one collecting the data and feeding this identity solution. They are the fuel powering the engine on the buying platform.  

The exception is in the case of a direct buy as, if advertisers are just buying from a publisher, what matters to them is that the inventory is addressable and anything else is irrelevant.” 

How App Publishers and Developers are Thinking About First-Party Data Today: “I like to play games every now and again in my downtime and I have been amazed by the amount of registration requests that I now receive. Free apps are starting to request users to register and to say, ‘Hey, you can access all the content you want. You don't have to pay for it, but you have to register. Otherwise, you can only access 'x’ number of articles.’ This is part of the value exchange; they're collecting data.  

The transition will take a little bit of time and obviously the worry publishers have is, am I going to lose my user base? How many users are going to take the extra step? I can ask people to register but if I am a long tail app, I might just lose them and they might go to someone else. 

But I think it's also unrealistic to think that for all your users, for all of your app visitors, you are going to have first-party data. And it's also unrealistic to think that the first-party data you collect is going to be of good quality.  

If publishers want to be truly scalable, first-party data will differentiate publishers. But you still probably need a common currency to transact across them. I find it unlikely DSPs will start to transact on age and gender or income information as a differentiator. But as a base, if that's not available, if the advertiser is bulk buying, there needs to be standardization. And this is why you need an identity solution that can join together all of these data points.” 

How To Balance Advertising Identity and User Privacy: “This is the key question on everyone's mind today, especially in Europe with GDPR and TCF.  

Publishers are ultimately the gatekeepers of user data. That's the truth. They decide what to collect. They decide how to collect it and then assign when and if to send it to you.  

They can also have a dialogue with the user, and this is where potentially app publishers have taken a little longer compared to standard publishers because they didn't have the cookie banner. They need to start the dialogue. That's what the publishing industry should do. Ask for permission and be quite clear, not just for satisfying regulators.  

My advice would be to start a dialogue, collect consent and get all your users on board with it. And then just use this data sensibly: anonymize or aggregate it. There are plenty of working groups in the industry at the moment who are focused on how to enhance privacy for different users. And I think they're coming up with some good results. They are scaling up to it, but they will need cooperation from everyone in the industry, from the platforms, from the identity solutions, but especially from publishers and advertisers, who are ultimately the data providers.” 

Advice To Publishers On How To Approach Advertising Identity: “The only thing that I would say is don't wait. There could be a tendency to wait, but it's a lot easier to implement a solution with one-year lead time or while it’s still not a business-critical problem. If you haven't started your identity journey, make sure you prioritize accordingly.” 

About ID5 

ID5 was created to improve online advertising for consumers, media owners and advertisers, with the ultimate goal to help publishers grow sustainable revenue. 

ID5 provides the advertising ecosystem with a transparent, scalable and privacy-compliant identity infrastructure. Its solution improves user recognition and match rates and provides a stable, consented and encrypted user ID to replace third-party cookies and MAIDs. This enables publishers to better monetize their audiences, advertisers to run effective and measurable campaigns, and platforms to maximize the value of data and inventory for their customers. 

Created in 2017 by seasoned ad tech professionals, ID5 services clients globally. For more information about ID5 and its solutions, please visit: www.id5.io

About the Interviewer   

Matthew Kaplan has over a decade of digital marketing experience, working to support the content goals of the world’s biggest B2B and B2C brands. He is a passionate app user and evangelist, working to support diverse marketing campaigns across devices. 

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