Apple is ripping up the fabric of mobile ad targeting – but Tom Kershaw sees it as just another step along the trajectory to a world of enhanced compliance.

The tech company is due to change its Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA), which advertisers use to identify iOS devices so they can deliver customized advertising, to a default opt-in.

It had been due to make the change in this month’s iOS 14 release, but has delayed the change to early 2021 amid industry concern.

The change will be profound, but Kershaw, CTO of ad-tech company Magnite, is not overly worried.

‘Just different’

“There are some concerns,” he says in this video interview with Beet.TV. “But this is not new. This has been happening for years. We have been in the process of moving from a fixed identity model.

“We had third-party cookies, and Apple and Firefox started getting rid of those literally well over a year ago. It was always the case that IDFAs and mobile IDs, or MAIDs as they’re called, would also go away and be replaced with a new system based on a combination of consent and first-party data, because first-party is the entity that the consumer has a relationship with, the app or the publisher.”

“Nor is it necessarily terrifying. It’s just different. It’s a new regime and we’re going to have to replace a lot of things we’ve been doing in programmatic for 10 years with a new set of things.”

The ground is shifting

The IDFA change is significant because a swathe of users are likely not to opt in to use it the first time they are asked.

It is the latest challenge to hit the industry after the ongoing deprecation of third-party cookies, which allow websites to set cookies for other websites, thereby enabling data matching.

Google is set to deprecate those by 2022, and the industry is scrambling for alternative targeting methods. They variously include fingerprinting, alternative digital IDs and contextual ad placements.

But the biggest groundswell appears to be a lean toward real user identities. After all, creeping privacy legislation, and not just browser makers’ policies, dictates that marketers must get consented opt-ins from users.

That is provoking a new wave of interest in gaining real user relationships, both with marketers directly and with publishers’ properties.

Kershaw’s Magnite was formed from the combination of Rubicon Project and Telaria.

“(The industry is) literally are reinventing the internet,” Kershaw says. “The work we’re doing right now is going to fundamentally restructure how websites and applications work, how they monetize, and how they interact with their consumers, and there can be nothing more important than this topic.

“We have to collaborate and work together, to be able to create this new environment.

“I think we’re going to end up with a better buying regime, a more secure and private internet, and a more … and a healthy publisher community when we’re done.

“It used to be done using a system that frankly did not have user consent. So we’re evolving that away from this third-party cookie model, towards a model that’s based on first-party information by user login and by anonymity.”

You are watching a segment from a Beet.TV series titled Programmatic Buying: Accountability & Transparency in Focus presented by MediaMath.  For more videos from the series, please visit this page