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What was new in adtech in February

Third-party data is fizzling out, and now, due to a policy change that Google plans to implement later in the year, user location data from apps is about to become much more scarce. The new policy will require app developers to go through an approval process before an app can collect location data when it isn’t being used. This will further squeeze the way in which ads are being tailored or personalized to a user based on their GPS signals. As of 3rd August, all new apps in Google Play will need to pass a review process before collecting location data in the background, which will then be extended to all apps by 3rd November.  

Also last month (February), trade body the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) announced plans for a universal login which will allow consumers to manage privacy settings, and offer a lifeline to advertisers in a post-third-party cookie world. Dubbed “Project ReArc”, the initiative will see brands, agencies and ad tech vendors collaborate on this universal login which consumers can manage and allows media buyers to target them with ads.

Project ReArc will use hashed email addresses or phone numbers as an identifier, which would work across thousands of websites. This means internet users won’t need to sign in each time they visit a new domain but the identifier will be shared through the supply chain to provide ad targeting capabilities. AdAge has the full article.

While some digital publishers are wondering what to do when access to third-party cookies runs dry, the biggest media company in Croatia, 24sata and Njuskalo – part of the Styria Media Group – has partnered with data management platform, Permutive, to increase targetable inventory and drive personalized advertising. As the only DMP that is not dependent on third-party cookies, 24sata and Njuskalo will have full control over its first-party data, with 100% visibility of its audience allowing analysis, segmentation and effective advertising targeting. The publisher will also gain deeper insight into its audience and increase data-driven revenue throughout the Croatian market.

In other industry news, the Coalition for Better Ads has released new standards that will see Google Chrome stop showing disruptive ad formats. From August 5th, video ad formats such as pre-roll (shown before video content is played), and mid-roll (which is displayed halfway through content users are consuming) will cease. The “Better Ads Standards” explain how such video formats are more likely to drive consumers to install ad blockers, and according to recent research from the Coalition for Better Ads, autoplaying video ads which play sound without user interaction, or “sticky ads” that take up more than 30% of a screen, are all adding to the increase of ad blockers.

Finally, demand-side platform (DSP) Beeswax, and independent video ad management platform Beachfront, announced they have adopted LiveRamp’s identifier “IdentityLink” for connected-TV (CTV) ads to improve audience targeting while remaining compliant with privacy regulations. Beeswax will also be able to use LiveRamp’s identifier for display and mobile campaigns to provide a solution as cookies are phased out and to comply with stricter data privacy laws.

LiveRamp’s IdentityLink helps stitch different sources of data by tying buyers’ own data to a unique user ID. This is then encrypted whenever it’s sent to publishers and ad tech vendors to enable better targeting and allow advertisers to manage the frequency of ads when buying programmatic ads via different platforms. The partnership will allow Beeswax to increase the scale and impact of CTV campaigns across Beachfront’s video inventory, while Beachfront’s publishers can monetize their inventory with Beeswax’s ad clients using IdentityLink.