Sincera in the News

Mike OSullivan
Sincera in the News

There's been a few new industry stories that have been published lately that feature Sincera data, or quotes from either Ian or myself.  To recap:

The Trade Desk's conslidation efforts are great for advertisers and publishers.  Terrible for undifferentiated SSPs.

This is interesting story from Seb Joseph at Digiday about general sense of uneasiness some in the industry feel towards The Trade Desk, particularly their sell-side integration, OpenPath. We contributed this quote:

“What’s interesting to me is the expectation that the DSP — in this case The Trade Desk, but it applies to any DSP — needs to explain ‘why’ they are using Path A versus Path B? Do SSPs explain why they choose to work with certain DSPs, but not others?,” said Mike O’Sullivan, co-founder of ad tech tracker Sincera. “Undifferentiated offerings suffering from price erosion isn’t a “Trade Desk” initiated trend. It’s the prevailing trend of programmatic.”

The quote was primarily a reaction to this statement:

“There’s not a lot of clarity on how a path gets prioritized but from what I can gather The Trade Desk’s bidding algorithms seem to favor those paths to ad inventory that have a low take rate including its own,” said one ad tech exec who traded anonymity for candor on what little clarity they’ve been able to get into how The Trade Desk spends its ad dollars. “This essentially means I may have to handicap my margin to compete, which will drive down my revenue and potentially challenge my business.”

Candidly, I'm surprised that someone actually said this.  The implicit assumption in this quote is that it's "bad" that The Trade Desk is pursuring a cheaper path to acquire the ad inventory.  In the same breadth, the individual "candidly" mentions the "lack of clarity" on path prioritization.  I wonder, does this 'ad tech exec' offer a lot of clarity on their margins - handicapped or otherwise - to their customers and DSP partners? I doubt it.  

That being said, we do think there is a lot of great innovation happening in the SSP space.  Some SSPs are innovating at the core with improved transparency and performance (IX and CTV), some innovate with ad formats (TripleLift) and many innovate with transparent, volume based pricing.  I don't think "SSPs" as a category, will "lose" - I think SSPs - or any technology company - that doesn't innovate, will.

As Alternate ID Adoption Increases, These 5 Solutions Lead the Pack

This is an identity deployment update from Mark Stenberg at AdWeek.  A good, straightforward story for an audience that doesn't follow the day-by-day changes of post-cookie identifier deployment.  The article makes extensive use of Sincera data, and we also provided this basic quote:

Among deterministic offerings, RampID from LiveRamp has become the most widely adopted solution in the identity space. In March, it topped 46,000 deployments, according to data from Sincera, which crawls 270,000 domains and monitors bid-stream data to chronicle ID adoption, said co-founder Mike O’Sullivan. Each deployment represents a publisher that has installed the identifier, although capturing such data precisely can be challenging.

One quibble we have is with how the Sovrn data is positioned.  What the Sovrn data illustrates is bid stream enrichment by SSPs, which is not the same as publisher deployment.

Of the 25,000 domains Sovrn monitors, the number of publishers deploying three or more solutions has decreased in the last six months, down to 19%, according to its bid-stream data. Likewise, 49% of publishers now deploy only one ID and 32% deploy two.

Momentum for Testing Cookie Alternatives Stalls on the Buy Side

We primarily contributed background guidance on how buyers can use post-cookie identifiers, and how it can be challenging to isolate and measure the lift that one of these solutions drive.  We also had this quote published:

“I don’t think there is enough spend that [impacts] are going to stand up and be really obvious unless you have a rigorous methodology to see it,” said Mike O’Sullivan, co-founder of currency platform Sincera. “There is usage, but I also agree there isn’t enough usage to really make it obvious the benefits it’s driving.”

We don't consider ourselves a "currency platform" - but that's ok, because it's confusing to actually understand what Sincera is :).  That said, I do think "lift measurement" is a tough problem for busy advertisers or publishers to understand, as it requires a hold-out based A/B testing framework, which is a lot of "lift" for many buyers and publishers to implement on a day-to-day basis.  

We are happy to offer trade or industry reporters complimentary access to Sincera's enterprise datasets, in service of deeper,  quantitative context for stories that effect the digital advertising industry. Interested? reach out at