No Cookie Needed: Triton's a2x Platform Adds Behavioral Targeting Through Semcasting Partnership

Triton Digital, operators of the a2x programmatic audio exchange, are expected to announce a partnership with Semcasting later this morning that will allow advertisers to target individual listeners cross-device. Triton claims that through the partnership with Semcasting, a2x advertisers will be able to behaviorally "target every listener on any device without the need for cookies" in real-time.

Cookies won't be required because Semcasting's audience targeting platform (Smart Zone) operates on an IP-based system. In an earlier statement, Ray Kingman, CEO of Semcasting said that the Smart Zone targeting will give a2x advertisers "specific and documented profiles of each listener." He added, "Because we don't use cookies, Semcasting supports targeting on all platforms and to all users, including mobile, further extending advertising reach without compromising privacy."



John Rosso, Triton Digital's president of market development, answered some questions for RTM Daily about the partnership and how it improves the a2x exchange.

RTM Daily:Does a2x already have a partner that does what Semcasting can do? If not, is this the type of partner you were looking for? Was cross-device targeting a problem?

John Rosso: Semcasting is the first partner that enables us to do behavioral targeting on devices. We have been able to deliver ads on those devices all along, but the addition of targeting will greatly increase the value of those impressions to the publishers and advertisers.                                             

RTM Daily: How have you approached reaching listeners cross-device before this partnership?

Rosso: We’ve used standard targeting techniques on Web browser based listening. For devices that don’t support cookies, we’ve used various first party data sets, such as music format of a stream, for targeting purposes. Semcasting will enable us to do true behavioral targeting on mobile.

RTM Daily: How does it not compromise privacy if there are "specific and documented profile[s]" of each listener?

Rosso: In terms of privacy, no personally identifiable information is ever collected.

RTM Daily: How many unique listeners does a2x reach on a monthly basis?

Rosso: Over 10 million.

RTM Daily: What might a2x's next partnership look like? Or how will the platform look to use its existing partnerships to continue expansion?

Rosso: We continue to look for data sources that will enhance the value of the advertising impressions on our network, regardless of the device on which those impressions are delivered. We’re interested in exploring any relationship that meets that simple criteria – make the impression more valuable for the publisher and the medium more effective for the advertiser.

RTM Daily also asked Semcasting CEO Ray Kingman a few questions about their offering.

RTM Daily: Why don't all mobile devices use IP-based systems to solve the cookie problem? It seems like a perfect what's the catch?

Ray Kingman: Mobile devices can serve to IP addresses but the issue is that when phones are not using WiFi we have no reference to who they are except that they are connected by the phone infrastructure to centralized hubs such as Ontario, CA for a Blackberry or Chicago for an iPhone. Phones are routed through a centralized locations throughout the country. We can serve to a mobile device if the device picks up the network at your home or work network. When these phones are tethered to a (more-likely-to-be) static IP address of the WiFi in a home or business the device is recognizable to us [and] ties to it Smart Zone demographics.

RTM Daily: What happens when a user IP address changes?  

Kingman: When this happens typically a home IP will pick up another IP address within the same service range. Semcasting has tied each range to summarized demographics and update it monthly.

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