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Our 2024 Update on The Trade Desk’s Unified ID Solution 2.0

June 11, 2024
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Even though the deadline continues to get pushed back, we know that at some point, third party cookies will no longer be available to track advertising campaign performance. Fortunately, cookies aren’t just disappearing overnight, so we, alongside the rest of the industry, are able to fine tune alternatives in the meantime.

It’s worth noting that cookies are also imperfect as consumer habits shift. They are already largely irrelevant on streaming services and mobile apps. We know consumers are spending more and more time consuming content in these places and we need to be able to reach them where they are. With privacy top of mind, The Trade Desk introduced UID 2.0 as the solution.

We first discussed Unified ID 2.0 on our blog in fall of 2022, and we are excited to share that this platform has continued to gain momentum as a viable alternative to cookies since then. As a reminder, Unified ID 2.0 is the privacy-conscious, identity framework spearheaded by The Trade Desk to help address the cookieless future. UID 2.0 aims to offer a solution for a new identity framework for the open internet where transparency and privacy controls, flexibility, and interoperability are prioritized.

What’s special about The Trade Desk’s UID 2.0?

First, UID 2.0 allows advertisers to leverage their first-party data. The framework is widely accessible because it is non-proprietary and open-source, so as long as participants agree to the advertising ecosystem’s code of conduct, they can access UID 2.0. If advertisers are already using commercial or proprietary identity solutions, UID 2.0 is interoperable and able to integrate with existing approaches. And perhaps most importantly, UID 2.0 respects consumer privacy. It uses multiple layers of security to protect user data, and consumers can opt out at any time. (1)

How does Unified ID work?

“When a consumer logs into a website with their email address, an identifier is created based on a hashed and salted, or anonymized version of that email. The identifier regularly regenerates itself, ensuring security. At the point of login, the consumer gets to see why the industry wants to create this identifier and understand the value exchange of relevant advertising, in simple terms (unlike today’s cookies). They also get to set their preferences on how their data is shared. So the consumer is in the driver’s seat.” (2)

With large brands adopting UID 2.0, users will start to see the opt-in option presented to them when they visit certain websites. The intent is for users to knowingly opt-in, with the understanding that their identity will be protected, and they’ll receive a more personalized and valuable online experience as a result. Brands that have expressed their support of Unified ID 2.0, include Paramount, NBCU, Warner Bros. Discovery, Lotame, Dish Media and Times Internet. In addition, most of the big players in the ad tech ecosystem are on board, as well as the Washington Post and their tech platform that powers over 100 media publishers. (2)

LMP is proud to partner with The Trade Desk for nearly a decade now. The Trade Desk has always been a proponent for the open internet. We know that in order to keep content free for consumers to enjoy, advertising has to come into play. We’re thrilled that The Trade Desk has been working to develop ways to approach identity and targeting in a privacy safe way, and in a way where everyone can benefit (publishers, consumers, advertisers).

We’re always staying on top of industry trends and changes and are adapting our strategy and technology accordingly. With changes coming down the pipeline daily, the Lewis Media team remains malleable to help our clients continue to have successful campaigns as identity solutions develop.


(1) The September 1, 2022 Publication of The Current — The Trade Desk, https://unifiedid.com/docs/intro

(2) https://www.thecurrent.com/what-the-tech-is-unified-id-2-0

Tricia Janney