Universal IDs for Publishers – Are They a Necessity?

The impending demise of third-party cookies and their multiple delays might make publishers indifferent to the cookieless future. However, it is better to be prepared and seek alternative solutions to manage business in the post-cookie era. And it may be wise to try with Universal IDs.

This article aims to shed light on the importance of Universal IDs as a potential remedy in the face of a cookieless future. We will explore the concept of Universal IDs, their classification, and how they can serve as a bridge to maintain audience targeting and personalization capabilities.

Join us on this informative journey as we delve into the world of Universal IDs and empower publishers to navigate the challenges and seize the opportunities that lie ahead in the post-cookie era.

What is Universal ID?

universal IDs

A Universal ID is a user identifier that serves as a shared identity across the supply chain without relying on third-party cookies. What makes Universal IDs reliable and accurate in identifying users because they are not limited to probabilistic matching and can be created using deterministic matching methods.

By adopting Universal IDs, the digital marketing industry can overcome the challenges posed by fragmented user data and the limitations of third-party cookies. It provides a standardized and efficient way to track and identify users across devices and platforms, enabling more personalized and effective advertising strategies.

Types of Universal IDs

Universal IDs come in two primary types: Probabilistic and Deterministic. 

Probabilistic Universal IDs

They utilize statistical algorithms and patterns to make educated predictions about user identities. This approach analyses various data points such as browsing behavior, device information, and location to create a probabilistic match between users and their devices on different domains. While probabilistic matching offers broad coverage and scalability, it may not provide 100% accuracy in identifying individual users.

Deterministic Universal IDs

They rely on authenticated user information to establish a direct and reliable match. This involves leveraging data from logged-in user accounts, email addresses, or other verified identifiers. Deterministic matching offers higher accuracy and precision in identifying users, as it is based on known and verified data. However, it may have limitations in terms of coverage, as it relies on users being authenticated or logged in across platforms.

The choice between Probabilistic and Deterministic Universal IDs depends on a publisher’s specific goals and priorities. Probabilistic matching can provide broader coverage and reach, making it suitable for audience expansion and targeting a larger user base. Deterministic matching, on the other hand, offers greater accuracy and personalized targeting, making it beneficial for precise audience segmentation and delivering tailored experiences.

Publishers need to carefully evaluate their objectives, available data sources, and privacy considerations when choosing the type of Universal ID that best aligns with their strategies. Some publishers may opt for a hybrid approach combining Probabilistic and Deterministic methods to maximize coverage, accuracy, and audience reach.

Benefits of a Universal ID Solution for Publishers

A Universal ID solution offers several benefits for publishers and marketers. 

Third party cookies independence

Firstly, a significant benefit is the reduction of reliance on cookies and other third-party services. As major internet browsers like Mozilla Firefox or Safari (who already did) and Google Chrome move away from supporting cookies, Universal ID solutions offer an alternative for publishers to deliver personalized and relevant ads without relying on cookies browsers can block.

Higher programmatic revenue

Universal IDs also enable better user data and matching accuracy. With high matching rates and accurate targeting, publishers can offer valuable user data to advertisers, increasing the value of their platform and commanding higher ad prices. This can lead to higher revenue potential and improved returns on investment for advertisers.

Preparing for the Future

As you see, it is wise for publishers to be proactive and prepare their Prebid setups to accommodate Universal ID modules. By doing so, they can ensure a smooth transition and be ready to harness the benefits that may arise as the industry adapts to cookieless environments. Additionally, it may be worthwhile to consider establishing accounts with one or more Universal ID providers to stay ahead of the curve.

At Yieldbird, we empower our clients by providing access to multiple Universal ID providers through our Prebid Stack, fully free of charge. This allows publishers to choose from various options based on their specific requirements and preferences. You can find ID5, Liveintent, Shared Id, Panorama Id, and many others in the Yieldbird Platform. Publishers can conduct A/B tests on how particular Universal ID providers perform on their inventory. With extensive testing, publishers will have more time to familiarize themselves with specific providers and choose the one that best suits their expectations, as results can vary from method to method and tool to tool.

Unlocking the Power of Universal IDs

As the era of third-party cookies draws near, publishers must remain vigilant and explore alternative solutions. While Universal IDs offer potential advantages, their impact on advertising results may not be groundbreaking. However, by being prepared and incorporating Universal ID modules into Prebid setups, publishers can position themselves for success in a post-cookie world.

Remember, embracing change and planning ahead will be key to thriving in the future of digital advertising!

We suggest the simplest way to adopt Universal IDs – through the Prebid Stack. Everything is conveniently streamlined there, and all the necessary components are readily available, eliminating the need for guesswork. Moreover, you can easily set up A/B tests and check out the results in the analytics panel to make it best for you. Contact our team to try Prebid Stack and its possibilities for free.


Bartłomiej Oprządek
Regional Growth Director

    Bartłomiej Oprządek

    Bartłomiej Oprządek

    Regional Growth Director

    Start using Yieldbird Platform to increase profits in publishing industry

    Try all the possibilities of Yieldbird Platform

    Related articles