Identity Resolution

What Will Happen to Mobile Addressability if Apple Removes Access to IDFA?

June 21, 2020  |   Travis Clinger

This week Apple will hold its annual WWDC, and the advertising ecosystem will once again hold its collective breath to find out if the rumours are true. We’ve seen progressive updates to Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP), which has completely shut out third-party cookies on Safari. Now there’s chatter that Apple may announce restrictions or removal of access to their identifier for advertisers (IDFA).

For those not familiar with what IDFA is, it’s Apple’s specific acronym for what the industry calls mobile IDs. On Android, they are known as AAID. Mobile device manufacturers provide these device identifiers for each mobile device they make, and they are used by publishers to monetise their apps and by advertisers to reach users. However, like cookies, they have flaws, including:

  • While persistent, when a consumer changes devices, the ID changes
  • They are (by design) device-specific, not people-based
  • They are not necessarily consumer consented, and therefore pose privacy concerns

So, if IDFA is restricted or access is removed entirely, what does that mean for publishers and advertisers when it comes to addressability? How will publishers monetise and advertisers reach mobile audiences?

LiveRamp has you covered

When publishers and marketers adopt ATS and transact on IdentityLink (IDL), potential announcements from Apple this week shouldn’t cause distress. ATS offers the digital ecosystem an alternative to any current or anticipated platform changes introduced by the wall gardens and device manufacturers. ATS was designed with the thought that mobile IDs would eventually be eliminated. That’s why it provides a durable and privacy-centric path for publishers and advertisers to commercially connect while maintaining the trust of the individual.

  • For brands that use IdentityLink: ATS offers effective and privacy-centric addressability across all major channels and markets
  • For publishers: ATS provides the ability to create a high-value authenticated audience advertisers want to engage with
  • For individuals: ATS allows greater control over their data; in return for individuals’ trust, brands and publishers can create more personal and valuable experiences and content—the promise of a trusted ecosystem

But the benefits of implementing ATS go beyond the trusted digital ecosystem. The solution is comprehensive, agile, and built to scale—and can be used anywhere an individual logs in or authenticates. It’s multichannel and supports customer journey engagement across display (on mobile and desktop) as well as mobile apps and connected TV. This means that brands have the means to buy media (on IDL) cross-channel and know not only that they are reaching individuals (not just devices) with consistency and accuracy, but that they can also measure with precision.

Currently, ATS is being used by over 35 DSPs, 19 SSPs, multiple publishers in the U.S., UK, APAC, and the EU, as well as InMobi for mobile inventory, and Beachfront for connected TV inventory. We’ve seen a 7x increase in weekly authentications over the past three weeks and have seen our global publisher count nearly double since the end of March. With the increase in scale of addressable audiences, advertisers can meet more of their customers where they are with the right message.

Change is inevitable. As privacy regulations evolve across the globe, the advertising ecosystem will adopt solutions that provide better privacy, security, and accountability. Building a solid data foundation for the future will ensure a vibrant, competitive ecosystem and seamless customer experiences.

LiveRamp has long supported evolving the marketing ecosystem to increase consumer privacy and choice and improve the online experience. While we can’t speculate on what Apple will announce regarding restrictions to IDFAs, the forward-looking technology that LiveRamp has built and deployed enables our customers to be prepared. As always, LiveRamp is committed to remaining open, neutral, and to promoting a healthy ecosystem.

Ready to learn more or get started with ATS? Send us an email at ats@liveramp.com.