In a recent post, I highlighted LiveRamp’s role as a hub in the highly fragmented ad tech ecosystem. Specifically, LiveRamp operates an ID syncing network that enables ad tech providers to exchange data. In this post, I’ll outline how this ID syncing network functions and where you can see LiveRamp execute syncs on the web.
A Refresher on ID Syncing
LiveRamp operates an ID syncing network that maintains a centralized mapping of cookie IDs and device IDs for each real-world consumer. Each ad tech company that participates in LiveRamp’s ID syncing network shares its user IDs with LiveRamp. With a complete mapping of IDs for each consumer, LiveRamp can facilitate data transfers between any two network participants.
To illustrate, here is the process that allows LiveRamp to collect my user ID from Adometry:
- First, LiveRamp makes a request to Adometry by calling a dedicated Adometry ID syncing URL.
- When Adometry receives this request, it responds by loading a LiveRamp URL that is populated with my Adometry user ID. This is a signal to LiveRamp that Adometry identifies me as user 54d7f399.006qLR.36e4f3da.
When you load http://log.dmtry.com/liveramp in your browser, you’ll be redirected to a LiveRamp URL that contains your Adometry user ID.
The LiveRamp Syncing Network
More generally, every participant in the LiveRamp network creates a URL that LiveRamp can call to request a user ID. This URL is configured to redirect to a LiveRamp URL that takes the following form:
Partner ID is populated by a code that is unique to each ad tech company, and User ID is populated by the code that the ad tech company assigns to your browser.
Click/tap any of the logos below to retrieve your user ID:
Behind the scenes of your daily browsing of the web, LiveRamp will periodically load these URLs, maintaining a constantly updated map of your user IDs.
Syncing In The Wild
Want to see the whole process in the wild? Head over to Banana Republic’s website and log in. Banana Republic appears to have an agreement in place with LiveRamp, allowing LiveRamp to use Banana’s login page to perform an ID sync with multiple network partners. All Banana Republic has to do is load the following URL:
That URL triggers a process that selectively performs ID syncs with partners in LiveRamp’s network. Install a debugging tool like Ghostery or Firebug, and you’ll be able to see all the ID syncs that are performed in the background. Depending on the freshness of your LiveRamp profile, you might see just a few syncs execute, or you might see dozens. LiveRamp has lots of similar partnerships with other sites, enabling it to constantly perform ID syncs and maintain a fresh mapping of every consumer’s IDs.