Scott Pierce
3 min read

What You Need to Know About Prebid ID Providers

With the imminent death of the third-party cookie, publishers have begun to implement Prebid ID providers to identify users and optimize their addressable inventory.

Of course, with any new innovation comes misinformation and confusion that holds back adoption. Here’s what’s true about Prebid ID Providers, what’s not true, and what you need to know to benefit from them.

What Do You Need To Know About ID Providers?

ID Providers are companies that provide ID solutions so that publishers and buyers can continue to identify and target users once third party cookies go away. Supported via Prebid’s User ID Module on, each ID solution has a different flavor and approach to identifying audiences.

Unified ID 2.0, for example, has been developed using user login data. Login data works because a user’s email address is persistent wherever the user goes; their email address is the same, so they create an online footprint that can be used as an identifier.

Other ID providers use different strategies to replace third-party cookies. Some are building user segments based on contextual data that attempt to model user IDs. Others are developing fingerprinting techniques based on a user’s browser, device, and location to identify and track the user across multiple sites with some level of confidence.

Ultimately, the future of identity is likely to be some combination of the above approaches.

What’s Not True About Prebid ID Providers

Implementing ID solutions is complex. 

Publishers, don’t be fooled into believing that implementing ID solutions is complex, challenging or scary. It simply isn’t true. The actual implementation of Prebid IDs is relatively simple and straightforward  — once you understand the basics. 

Currently, there are just 27 ID providers available via Prebid’s User ID Module, many of which are easy to implement with no registration requirements or simply needing to email the provider. Fortunately, ID providers not only give publishers the configurations but implementation examples on the page.

More is better.

To stay up to speed, you don’t have to implement all ID providers. In fact, it’s probably best not to. Adding an ID provider means additional requests to the page, creating unnecessary calls to third-party systems that occupy browser resources as well as introducing latency, all of which could negatively impact monetization. As a best practice, adding things to the page that don’t make you more money is a bad thing, and opens the door to browser strain.

Wrappers need to be optimized holistically using a single system that manages all the variables and allows publishers to change any one of them in a simple, controlled way. A publisher cannot gauge the performance of a given component of the wrapper if there are multiple variables moving around at the same time, identity providers included. Additionally, in a privacy-first era where a publisher’s most valuable asset is their data, publishers should be very mindful about who they share their data with.

So What Should Publishers Do?

When evaluating ID providers, here are some basic guardrails to keep in mind.

  1. Publishers should be wary of wrapper management providers that sow doubt and uncertainty around deploying identity modules.
  1. Publishers should require their wrapper management provider to properly measure the incremental revenue lift of each additional ID provider by isolating the ID provider on a small percentage of traffic and report against that singular change versus other configurations.
  1. Publishers should include page performance as a factor when testing ID providers.

The right Prebid ID provider will be able to demonstrate their value by showing publishers their effect on bottom lines, monetization, and overall revenue. 

If you’d like to learn more about Prebid ID providers and identity solutions, please reach out to us at