The use of tracking cookies is ending, and Apple’s Anti-Tracking Privacy Update impacted mobile application advertising revenue. But these changes have only pushed the adtech industry to be more creative with its solutions. The latest example comes from Pandora’s parent company SiriusXM, which this week launched a new way to identify and track its listening audience in apps, which it’s calling “AudioID”.
The new identity solution comes from AdsWizz, the digital audio ad technology company that Pandora acquired for $145 million in 2018, gaining access to technology products like dynamic ad insertion, campaign tracking tools, podcast transcription technology, and even weirder features like “Shake Me,” which lets users shake their phones during an ad to trigger an action. Now, AdsWizz is being put to work in a new way, powering the AudioID product.
To work, AudioID combines datasets of user information across SiriusXM’s business, including its own satellite radio music service, as well as streaming apps Pandora and Stitcher – the podcast app it purchased for $325. million in 2020.
The company explains that it looks for signals in the data sets that overlap. So, for example, if a customer signed up with the same email address on Pandora and Stitcher, SiriusXM can combine those accounts into a single “AudioID”. Consumers are unlikely to know that this correspondence is happening behind the scenes. They are not being asked by apps to provide additional information or consent. There is no opt-out. This is because AudioIDs are meant to be a replacement for the traditional identifier that, in the past, may have contained or linked to a user’s personal information. SiriusXM, on the other hand, describes its AudioIDs as unique but “anonymous”.
But AudioID can combine all kinds of signals beyond just an email or phone number to inform your creation. The technology can look for matches in device IDs, IP addresses, other user profile data, and then create an identifier that spans streaming applications. That means it can track a user’s listening behavior, whether they’re playing music or podcasts on a mobile app, in their browser, in a car, or on a smart device in their home.
In other words, the company has created a way that will continue to allow advertisers to target users with more relevant ads, but in a way that tries to obfuscate the listener’s personal information and identity, and instead focus on the content they want. listen. for.
At launch, the solution will support first-party ad targeting, improved measurement, reach, prediction, and frequency capping use cases, says SiriusXM.
“We are entering a new era of identity – in both culture and technology – that defines us not by who we are on paper or the cookies we leave behind, but by our interests and passions,” says Chris Record, AdsWizz SVP and Head of Ads, Technology and Operations Product. “AudioID is a consumer-facing, privacy-focused infrastructure that will provide our audiences with the best experiences and give marketers access to data-driven resources like never before.”
Of course, it remains to be seen whether consumers will appreciate the placement of this type of solution – especially after receiving highly targeted ads after tapping a “do not track” popup in your mobile app. The assumption on the part of marketers, of course, is that consumers really like personalized ads because they are more relevant to their interests. They believe the problem is that consumers don’t want their personal information circulating in advertisers’ dossiers. Arguably, though, consumers who choose not to track understand that the downside is that the ads they encounter can become less accurate. But they tap that button anyway. If anything, it’s because consumers are choosing not just out of a desire to protect their personal and private information, but because highly personalized ads got too scary. The AudioID solution doesn’t seem to address this aspect of consumer complaints with modern adtech technology – especially if it’s collecting and compiling a user’s “interests and passions” for better targeting.
SiriusXM notes that the solution is optional for its publishers and partner marketers – they don’t need to use AudioID, in other words. It says that in late 2022, it will extend this self-targeting to marketers and off-platform advertisers on AdsWizz in the US as well.