Hearst Magazines has announced it has adopted LiveRamp’s Authenticated Traffic Solution across all 25 of its U.S. brands, including Elle, Esquire, Good Housekeeping, and others. Hearst Magazines, one of the largest publishers of magazine media, reaches 165 million readers and site visitors in the U.S. each month across its print and digital assets. As a result of the integration, brands will be able to buy authenticated ad inventory directly from Hearst Magazines without relying on third-party identifiers such as third-party cookies, mobile ad IDs, or IP addresses.
The move is significant, coming at a time when no single identity solution has yet emerged as the victor for when third-party cookies are sunsetted at the tail end of 2023. The announcement also further highlights the difference in strategy between U.S. publishers – who favour authenticated IDs – and European publishers who prefer random IDs and first-party cookies. This is underlined by the fact that LiveRamp’s deal is with Hearst’s U.S. magazine portfolio only.
While authenticated IDs (a group of users that have gone through some sort of validation process e.g. email address) can carry more data, they don’t scale as well as first-party cookies – only a small percentage of the internet occurs behind logins. They also don’t provide additional functionality such as frequency capping, profiling, reporting, etc. However, for many large publishers already using log-ins or verification processes to identify their audience, authenticated IDs make sense.
An independent study conducted by Forrester Consulting for LiveRamp, recently concluded that a composite marketer using LiveRamp’s cookieless solution was able to achieve an ROI of 343%, and over $1.4M in incremental return on ad spend (ROAS). Cost savings totaling nearly $1 million were also realized.
We’re seeing marketers achieve incredible results – including 2x return on ad spend, 20%+ increases in reach, and 37% better conversion rates. Sophisticated publishers, like Hearst Magazines, recognize this tremendous opportunity, and are embracing the creation of a new ecosystem built on trust and transparency with consumers.Scott Howe, CEO, LiveRamp
However, in an interview for WNIP’s report on the issue last year, BlueConic’s COO, Cory Munchbach, said that many publishers are still overwhelmed with identity options and warned that many solutions “are merely third-party cookies in another ID’s clothing. To future-proof revenue and customer trust, companies need to take back control of their data and build closer connections with their customers using first-party assets.”