Digital Publishing
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What CMP should I use for GDPR and CCPA?

TCF v2.0 is the second iteration of The IAB’s Transparency and Consent Framework (TCF), and ensures GDPR-compliance for the digital advertising industry. This newest version goes into effect on August 15th, 2020, and includes updated regulations on how to best respect user privacy. As one part of your compliance efforts, you’ll want to adopt a Consent Management Platform (CMP). A CMP is a piece of technology used to manage consumer data preferences (in the case of TCF v2.0, European customers).

However, not all CMPs work for all regulations. For example, the GDPR (Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation) is not the same as the CCPA (California Consumer Protection Act), even though both pieces of legislation have the same end goal of enhanced consumer privacy and data protection. There are subtle differences, which means that a one-size-fits-all approach won’t work.

To that end, publisher-centric exchange Sovrn recently conducted a study of free and paid GDPR and CCPA-compliant CMPs. The following guide lists the pros and cons of the CMPs deemed by Sovrn as the best options for most publishers, based on features, compliance, support, and other aspects.

The Best Paid and Free CMPs for CCPA compliance

1. OneTrust

OneTrust is an e-privacy specialist, and the focus of their CMP is on complexity and compliance. OneTrust does not offer a free version of their CMP, and pricing is opaque. However, a free trial of the product is available. With key features such as audit logs and in-depth reporting, this is a robust solution ideal for large publishers who want to fully de-risk.

At a glance:

  • Paid only; free trial available
  • Impressive reporting
  • Best for larger publishers
  • Both GDPR and CCPA-compliant

2. Admiral

Admiral offers an impressively simple control panel and a friendly, customizable brand experience, as well as consent analytics and 24/7 support. While they don’t offer a free version, there is a free trial period, and pricing is based on pageviews per domain. This is a good option for publishers searching for simplicity and scalability. It’s also the only CMP reviewed that can unlock new revenue that exceeds any CMP costs, via adblock recovery, paid subscriptions, email newsletter revenue and more, all from the same install tag.

At a glance:

  • Paid only; free trial available
  • Easy installation and controls
  • Straightforward pricing
  • Suitable for small and large publishers
  • Both GDPR and CCPA-compliant

3. Cookiebot

Cookiebot is hugely customizable, and an impressive number of features are made available through their API. This makes it a good choice for publishers of any size who have engineering resources on-hand. Notably, the CMP is Cookiebot’s core product. There is a free version available for smaller domains, and the pricing model for the paid version is based on the number of domains you have.

At a glance:

  • Free and paid versions available
  • Highly customizable
  • Good for engineering-savvy publishers
  • Both GDPR and CCPA-compliant

4. Quantcast

This list would be incomplete without the mention of Quantcast, which provides the most popular free CMP in the market. The Quantcast CMP was specifically designed for GDPR, and touts a huge userbase including household names like Buzzfeed. In addition to the free version, there is also a premium, paid-for CMP available at minimal added cost. As evidenced by their large number of users, Quantcast does a good job of simplifying the adoption and use of a CMP. 

At a glance:

  • Free and paid versions available
  • Easy to use; suitable for large and small publishers
  • Both GDPR and CCPA-compliant


Privacy regulations aren’t going anywhere, and it’s important that publishers of all sizes take the steps to understand both the regulatory landscape and the effects on their business. While the list above offers a number of great CMPs with similar features, there are still differences (ranging from reporting to UI) that publishers will have to weigh as they decide which product is best for their specific needs.

Disclosure: What’s New In Publishing is owned and operated by Sovrn Holdings Inc. as a service to all publishers globally. Whilst this article’s data was provided by Sovrn, the WNIP editorial team have made stringent efforts to ensure that the resultant analysis is not biased. Should you have any comments or corrections to this article, please contact

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