Publishers scale back post-cookie plans

Research from Digiday suggests that publishers are scaling back their post-cookie planning in response to Google’s delayed deprecation.  For instance; the level of publishers preparing for the end of third party cookies remained relatively flat at 68% whilst those worried about their ability to target ads fell from 59 to 46%, and measure ads from 57 to 40% between Q1 and Q3 this year.

Though that could be a sign of growing confidence and preparedness, there were also some significant falls in post-cookie tactics in use including the decline in those ‘using more first party data’  from 78% to 46%.  There was a positive growth in those ‘integrating first-party segments into DSPs’ from 34% to 44% – something that Carbon and SmartRTB are encouraging.

Leon Gurevich recently shared some thoughts on what publishers can do now to prepare for 2023, and rather than scaling back on cookieless initiatives he suggested using what we have available now to future proof.  From developing a better understanding of your first party audiences, building relationships (with buyers and audiences), and staying flexible to adapt to the changes; we all need to use the extra time wisely.

Focus shifts to Safari

Digiday’s weekly media briefing suggested that Google’s deprecation delay has given publishers and buyers a window of opportunity to tackle Safari’s limited ad revenue.  Some publishers have claimed that due to Apple’s ITP (intelligent tracking prevention) Safari impressions sell for as much as 70% less than Chrome impressions, leading many publishers and advertisers to direct more budgets to Chrome.

Whilst publishers may be scaling back some cookieless initiatives, the renewed focus on solutions for Safari’s tracking limitations could be applied to other cookieless browsers, and eventually Chrome.

Programmatic Guaranteed to flourish

MarketingWeek publishes a weekly 5 interesting stats to start your week, and this week’s was particularly insightful for a number of reasons.  The surge in TV & streaming in 2020 and growing use of data and programmatic in the TV space shows the innovation going on, but also advertisers continue to see the benefits of programmatic.

Publishers have thrived on the open exchange leveraging third party cookies, but in the long term they’ll be looking to connect their first party data with marketers’ whilst maintaining the benefits of programmatic.  Programmatic Guaranteed is already seeing success – helping to maintain and improve relationships between publishers and advertisers with tech companies like Carbon well positioned to help understand, build and activate first party audience data within programmatic.

The cost of misinformation

After it was revealed that top advertisers spend $2.6bn annually placing ads on misinformation sites it has bolstered the drive to improve brand safety in programmatic, whilst also making methods such as programmatic guaranteed a key part of the solution.  The ad industry needs more of a collective consciousness to solve this problem; creating whitelists/blacklists for filtering misinformation, as well as  working closer on privacy safe audience data sharing to facilitate more transparency.

Potential FLoC tweaks

According to reports, Google is considering switching FLoC to a topic-based approach.  The method suggests that Google would assign topic categories to websites and people rather than assigning cohort IDs to them.  It’s another sign of Google listening more to the industry, as well as a recognition that the original version of FLoC is both opaque and not as privacy safe as they need.  The main privacy concern of FLoC in its current form was that FLoC IDs could be used to enable fingerprinting techniques that piece together someone’s identity.  This new approach would reduce the opportunity for such methods.

Adopting a topic-based approach could give publishers and advertisers a clearer understanding of how ads are targeted too, and it’s close resemblance of contextual targeting strengthens the need for more consistent approaches to content and data classification.  Carbon recently shared insights into our adoption of the IAB Content Taxonomy 2.2 as a foundation with the addition of our own unique brand and custom keywords too, which combined with automated categorization can help publishers future proof for the different audience approaches.

Agency support for UID2

In a recent assessment of third-party cookie alternatives Mozilla claimed SWAN & UID2 as not ready:

The problem Mozilla sees with these systems is that both require participants to abide by policies without offering any way that internet users can confirm compliance and both deliberately take steps to bypass anti-tracking protection built into browsers.

The Register

Just like FLoC, there’s still work and testing to be done before these third party alternatives will be fully comparable.  Despite this though, UID2 is gathering agency support with IPG and Omnicom the latest to publicly endorse the identifier, and eventually that will mean more advertiser demand to buy using UID2.  Arun Kumar – chief data and marketing technology officer of IPG – likens the situation to 10 years ago when programmatic was in its infancy and only had access to remnant inventory, suggesting that publishers will commit once demand grows.

Stay up to date

Simply sign up to our Identity 101 newsletter below and we’ll only use it to send you news & updates on the upcoming changes to identity in publishing.

Schedule a chat

Want to discuss your identity, audience and monetisation strategy with one of our experts? Schedule a call using the Calendly link below.

Carbon is now part of Magnite.