LiveRamp for Developers Recap – Session 7: Authenticated Traffic Solution – ATS API

September 1, 2021  |   Randall G.

The seventh and final session of our summer LiveRamp for Developers web series was focused on our Authenticated Traffic Solution (ATS) API. Ian Meyers, Head of Addressability Product at LiveRamp, provided an overview of ATS as well as the ATS API.

Check out the session in its entirety on demand by registering, and read on to get an overview of what was covered.


About ATS

ATS connects publishers with brand identity to shape media experiences and measure effectiveness. ATS helps publishers recognize known users on their sites in real time, enabling data-informed targeting and increasing the value of their inventory. ATS is very much a product of our identity graph and offers a safe way to resolve user identifiers.

 

Market need for the ATS API

LiveRamp saw an opportunity to provide a more direct way for publishers and marketers to connect data, but also perceived the risk in operating in an untrusted context, or with unsafe, identified tokens. The ATS API solves this problem.

Without depending on third-party cookies, device-based identifiers, or other unstable identity anchors, the ATS API enables data collaboration in programmatic advertising and beyond through the use of identity and cryptographic protections.

The API accepts an identifier (or multiple identifiers) along with some configuration parameters in a request. That identifier, e.g. a hashed email, goes through additional pseudonymization before performing a look-up against the LiveRamp graph. In some cases, a look-up against secondary graphs may also take place. 

If a link is found and the user is eligible (i.e. not opted out), those secondary identifiers, along with expiration and configuration information, will also be packed into that identity envelope. 

An identity envelope acts as a secure, volatile container to hold identity information. It could be passed around in an insecure, untrusted context due to our use of encryption paired with entropy provided by unique initialization vectors.

 

ATS API development

There were several design principles or patterns that were kept in mind when developing the ATS API:

1. Simplicity 

The API must be easy to understand and implement so it can be used by as many participants within the ecosystem as possible. If needed, further sophistication can be added, but it should be easy to start working with the API itself.

2. Omnichannel support

The API must be omnichannel, supporting the variety of platforms LiveRamp customers have come to expect. The ATS API works not only for browsers, but also in-app, on CTV, and beyond.

3. Minimization of data collection and usage

Publishers trust LiveRamp to help them monetize inventory and connect with marketers, and require continuous control of their data based on their terms. That’s why the ATS API was built to take a purposefully limited approach to data sharing. LiveRamp retains little more than a count of how many requests are received from a particular API instance, which allows partnerships with publishers who are concerned around misuse or exposure of their data assets. For publishers and users who are looking for richer intelligence around what they’re putting through the ATS API, additional capabilities can be layered on an opt-in basis. 

4. Semantic 

This is an extension of the first principle (simplicity), in that the API should be semantic. Some shorthand is fine, but for ease of debugging and deployment, the API should be standard, follow standard patterns, and fail loudly when something is not working as expected. 

 

Current ATS API status

LiveRamp is currently in the middle of scaling up the ATS API. The API is serving hundreds of millions of requests per day, and that’s with some aggressive client-side caching of envelope storage. 

The API is consistently hitting reasonable service level objectives and is live in Europe and Asia. This year, we’re expanding into more than 15 new markets, including Latin America.

Global reach is important to the hundreds of international, multi-market brands LiveRamp works with, and we ensure consideration of privacy regulation in every market we operate in. For example, LiveRamp ensures that data assets stay in-region and adhere to cross-border rules—that’s increasingly important with the architecture of the internet and the regulations that back it.

 

ATS API use cases

ATS is intended to facilitate the two-sided relationship between publishers and marketers, collaborating on the basis of permissioned identifiers.

When publishers enrich their inventory using identity, they’re able to achieve better monetization. This is true for inventory that has other inferior identifiers, like third-party cookies or device IDs, but it’s a step change for inventory that can’t be appropriately monetized by legacy identity technology. In both cases, ATS is a game-changer, and the numbers bear this out.

PubMatic Identity Hub - Case Study

In this first example, ATS was deployed through PubMatic’s Identity Hub. They saw huge improvements in CPM, as well as unique audience reach based on the ability to pull in users who are otherwise unaddressable and unavailable to marketers. This aspect is a benefit to both publishers and marketers alike.

Publishers Powered by ATS

Looking at some of the publishers that have adopted ATS, there’s a wide array of deployments—large and small—across different verticals. Authentication is becoming a critical, strategic component for digital publishers, and this aligns with the publisher objectives of increasing engagement and driving subscriptions beyond its use within advertising and marketing.

Looking at the other side, marketers also see improved outcomes when they leverage LiveRamp’s infrastructure. They see better performance and the ability to effectively reach users across a range of their devices, minimizing audience loss and maximizing audience region frequency.

Major Grocery Chain - LiveRamp ATS Case Study

Shown here are the results of a major grocery chain conducting an AB test. The test used ATS, the control used third-party cookies, and both were executed with the same campaign parameters on leading DSPs.

In terms of audience reach and critical conversion measures, the ATS audience outperformed the control, which is something that’s consistently seen: campaigns running on ATS improve outcomes for marketers. This is seen not only when measuring reach, but also with the actions taken by that audience. 

In addition to accessing ATS-enabled publisher inventory, marketers can also benefit by deploying it on their digital properties. They can plug into authenticated ecosystems to power retargeting, personalization, measurement, and audience-building.

 


ATS API operation, endpoints, and demo

Ian provided an overview of what is required to get started utilizing the ATS API, its operation, and the API’s endpoints. He also gave a short demo of the ATS API in action.


 

You can view the full session (or any of the previous sessions) on demand by registering. Please also take a moment to review the ATS documentation as well as the associated collateral on the developer portal. Afterward, if you’d like to get a better understanding of how ATS can help you meet your business goals, please reach out to us via the contact form, and you will be routed to an appropriate expert.

While this is the last of our LiveRamp for Developers summer sessions, we will continue to increase our API offerings by adding individual APIs and expanding to additional product categories. When we do so, we will hold similar sessions to help our users understand and familiarize themselves with the new offerings. We’ll announce these on the Developer Portal, as well as on our engineering blog, so be sure to subscribe to stay up-to-date.