MARCO ISLAND, FL — Why did data company LiveRamp acquire last month acquire Habu, one of the leading vendors behind the crop of clean room software suites?

For Scott Howe, CEO, LiveRamp, it’s about fit and the future.

In this video interview with Beet.TV at the IAB’s Annual Leadership Meeting, Howe describes the deal and more besides.

Keep it simple

“The enthusiasm was unlike anything I’ve ever seen,” he says, describing the Habu acquisition talks.

Howe describes the integration of Habu into LiveRamp’s suite: “The more nodes of the network that you can connect, that generates more value for everyone in the network.”

Habu’s user-friendly interface promises to simplify complex data processes, making them accessible to a broader audience. “LiveRamp historically has been a sports car, but most people in the industry don’t drive stick,” says Howe. “Habu is simple and intuitive. It’s like opening an iPhone out of the box. You just know what to do.”

LiveRamp explained that it sees clean rooms as one solution to signal loss in the digital ad space.

With the deprecation of third-party cookies, he stresses the importance of companies building their own identity graphs: “It’s really important that every company start to develop its own identity, that they develop a direct relationship with their consumer.”

LiveRamp has shifted from being a third-party identity graph to becoming an identity infrastructure in its own right. Howe believes that “There are going to be tens of thousands of identifiers in that world. They all need a Rosetta Stone, and we view that as one of the functions we provide.”

Beyond retail: The rise of ‘collaboration’ networks

The conversation with Howe also delves into the burgeoning sector of retail media networks, which he believes is a misnomer in today’s context.

“I really think it’s commerce networks or quite frankly, even a step beyond. I just call them collaboration networks,” Howe asserts.

LiveRamp sees its role in this ecosystem as akin to a conduit for data collaboration. “We’re the carriage that allows this company to talk to this company, to talk to this company – and not just talk, but collaborate with data and information,” Howe explains.

In a world where data is the prime ingredient, Howe is excited about the innovation that lies ahead. “It’s like having a kitchen full of a thousand different ingredients,” he says.

You’re watching ‘Digital Media in Transition’, a Beet.TV Leadership Series at IAB ALM 2024 presented by Sharethrough. For more videos from this series, please visit this page.