5 Important Factors Publishers Should Consider While Choosing Universal IDs

In the dynamic and ever-evolving realm of digital publishing, the quest to provide tailored content and advertisements while respecting user privacy has led to the emergence of universal IDs as a potential solution. With the impending decline of third-party cookies and the increasing significance of data protection regulations, publishers are faced with the complex task of selecting the most suitable universal ID solution for their needs. In this context, it is imperative for publishers to thoroughly evaluate and consider the following five crucial factors before making their choice:

1. Data Privacy and Compliance:

In an era where data breaches and privacy concerns dominate headlines, safeguarding user data and complying with stringent privacy regulations have become non-negotiable imperatives. Publishers must prioritize partnering with universal ID providers that demonstrate a clear commitment to data privacy and offer robust compliance mechanisms. A comprehensive understanding of how user data is collected, processed, and shared is essential to ensure transparency and build trust among users.

2. Reliability and Persistence:

One of the primary objectives of a universal ID is to seamlessly track users across different platforms and devices, creating a holistic view of their interactions. To achieve this, the chosen universal ID must exhibit high levels of reliability and persistence. Regardless of whether users switch devices or platforms, the ID should consistently and accurately identify them. This ensures that the data collected contributes to a unified user profile, enabling publishers to deliver consistent and coherent experiences.

3. Cross-Platform Compatibility:

Today’s digital landscape is characterized by the proliferation of devices and channels through which users engage with content. Publishers need a universal ID solution that transcends platform boundaries, effectively integrating across a wide spectrum of touchpoints such as websites, mobile apps, smart TVs, and beyond. A seamless cross-platform experience not only enables publishers to comprehend user behavior comprehensively but also allows for the delivery of tailored content that resonates with users across their preferred devices.

4. Scalability and Flexibility:

As digital ecosystems expand and evolve, the scalability and adaptability of chosen solutions become pivotal considerations. A universal ID solution should be able to accommodate the ever-growing volume of users and data sources without compromising performance. Moreover, the solution’s flexibility in accommodating technological advancements and shifting industry trends is crucial. Opting for a solution built on an open architecture empowers publishers to customize and integrate it with other technologies seamlessly, ensuring long-term viability.

5. Ecosystem Collaboration:

A universal ID’s effectiveness hinges on its acceptance and adoption within the larger advertising and publishing ecosystem. To maximize its potential, publishers should opt for solutions that garner support from a broad spectrum of industry stakeholders, including advertisers, agencies, and technology platforms. A universally recognized and accepted ID facilitates a consistent user experience across the digital landscape, enabling publishers to remain competitive and relevant in an environment marked by transformative shifts.

In the realm of Universal IDs, three distinct types have emerged in the market such as DigiTrust by IAB, LiveRamp, and more. These variations primarily diverge in terms of the sources they draw information from.

Certain solutions boast the flexibility to gather identity information from many sources. Let’s discuss each of them one by one. 

DigiTrust by IAB

It is a non-profit, industry-wide collaboration of companies building technology solutions that improve the digital experience for consumers, publishers, and advertisers. DigiTrust has taken on the challenge of reducing the number of third-party requests on web pages, through efforts to eliminate the need for pixel synchronization. The DigiTrust technology solution creates an anonymous user token, designed to be propagated by and between its members in lieu of billions of proprietary tokens and trackers on webpages daily.

Unified ID by theTradeDesk

As one of the largest independent demand-side platforms (DSP), the TradeDesk has one of the most ubiquitous cookie footprints in the world. They provide their proprietary cookie ID for free with their unified ID solution. By letting any other DSPsupply-side platform (SSP), data management platform (DMP), and data provider match audience data using one of the most prevalent IDs in the ecosystem, theTradeDesk provides an opportunity to scale a truly universal ID. Their solution has seen one of the fastest adoption rates.


ID5 provides a centralized cookie-matching service and a universal ID solution that publishers can leverage to operate more efficiently and to maximize the value of their inventory. Cookie matching allows publishers to monetize their audiences but also increases the risks of data leakage and GDPR defiance.

ID5’s solution helps publishers manage ID synchronizations from a centralized platform and decide which partners can and cannot synchronize cookies on their website, improve match rates with their partners and increase programmatic revenue (even where third party cookies are blocked), improve the page load time and the on-site UX, and ensure privacy and consent management across their ecosystem.

Publisher Common ID

Publisher Common ID (PubCID) is a privacy-centric first-party cookie solution. Built with consumer privacy in mind. PubCID does not sync IDs across domains so the IDs your domain generates are yours to share with whom you choose. Because the user IDs generated are site-specific, there is no degradation of these IDs over time, improving user match rates. Additionally, latency issues generally caused by multiple callouts to various parties are significantly reduced, improving user experience, viewability, and earnings.

Advertising ID Consortium

The consortium was created to enable buyers and sellers of programmatic advertising an opportunity to leverage a two-part identity framework of common cookies and people-based identifiers to create more relevant campaigns and improve user experiences.

Currently, the consortium membership includes SSPs and DSPs who represent a large share of programmatic transactions in the open web.

In summation, the transition to a post-cookie era necessitates that publishers explore and implement universal IDs as a means to sustainably deliver personalized content and targeted advertising. However, the decision-making process requires a meticulous assessment of various factors. Publishers must navigate the intricacies of data privacy, reliability, cross-platform compatibility, scalability, and ecosystem collaboration to identify the ideal universal ID solution. By conscientiously weighing these factors, publishers can not only adapt to a privacy-conscious and technologically dynamic landscape but also elevate their ability to provide meaningful digital experiences.


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