Google’s 3rd party delay: the fallout

Whilst Google’s delay of 3rd party cookie deprecation to 2023 felt a little forced, the industry on the whole seems to be in agreement.  Check out some quoted reactions from around the industry in AdExchanger and Campaign UK.  The bottom line: Google wasn’t prepared and that made it hard for the industry to prepare; so the extra time will give all stakeholders time to learn, innovate and adapt.  With more time, companies can do a number of things such as testing more targeting and measurement replacements (with the safety net of third-party cookies); whilst publishers and brands will have more time to build out their first-party data assets.

Hopefully this is a turning point whereby Google realised they can’t solve the issue of 3rd party cookies alone and collaborate more with the industry.  This is a feeling reflected by James Roswell who believes the UK’s CMA involvement is key:

The CMA’s involvement changes the dynamic of Google’s engagement with the rest of the industry including the W3C

James Roswell, CEO & Co-founder of 51Degrees, and marketers for an open web

The W3C of course is the international web standards body hosting the development of the Privacy Sandbox, but Google’s engagement with the W3C has been limited according to some.

On the other hand,  publishers and advertisers should use the time to take more control of their own identity and consumer engagement strategies without relying as heavily on Google.  Refining our first party data strategies whilst leveraging contextual, cohorts, and universal ID approaches will allow us to future proof against whatever we’re faced with come 2023 and beyond.

Magnite’s First Party Segments

As Angelina Eng mentions in the video above, for buyers the challenge of using publisher first party data has always been scale.  The more publishers can build out their 1st party data, learn more from the insights of what audiences are doing/what content they’re consuming, then buyers will look to work more with the publishers directly.  This week, Magnite announced the completion of the first phase of their First Party Segments Initiative – which aims to tackle the issue of scale in 1st party audiences with both high accuracy and scale through federated segments.

Handling over 3bn transactions per day with over 30 participants (including media owners and buyers), the aim of the initiative is to provide buyers with scalable audience targeting opportunities, while safeguarding privacy.  The first phase focused on helping publishers define & build 1st party segments using IAB Tech Lab industry standards to test then execute on real-time transactions against seller-defined audiences with 3rd party cookies.

Marketers absolutely should continue to use third-party cookies while they can – but they must also test products like Magnite’s, so they will have solutions for other browsers as well as Chrome when it drops cookies in 2023.

Tony Rifilato, AdExchanger

The FPS initiative is now moving into to expand the project with Prebid’s taxonomy task force and IAB Tech Lab’s Addressability working group.

Positive impact of shift from 3rd party

LiveRamp/Censuswide revealed 78% of Senior UK Marketers believe the withdrawal of third-party cookies will have a positive impact.  Most pertinently there’s optimism for alternative solutions with those leading among respondents being first party authenticated data, identity solutions and contextual targeting – all things Carbon is strong in – whilst 85% of respondents believe their brands would benefit from closer relationships with their key target publishers.

Other interesting reads

  • An interesting guest article from Future PLC in AdExchanger speaks about why publishers need walled gardens of their own as a way to protect their valuable 1st party assets, whilst “investing in bridges and gates that allow access to them”.  These bridges or gates could include things such as direct deals, publisher cohorts or even data clean rooms – but ultimately they allow their partners to access audience insights and segments, whilst protecting those valuable assets and consumer privacy.
  • In another example of publishers seeking to take back control from big tech, Danish media is using collective bargaining against US tech to force Google/Facebook to pay for news content.  We’ve already seen similar moves in Australia recently largely based on similar legislation as the EU’s copyright directive which allows news publishers to claim payments for the use of their content online.
  • Verizon’s partnership with Catalina will likely give a boost to ConnectID, adding shopping data to their identity solution – merging the two user graphs for improved targeting and insights. 

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Carbon is now part of Magnite.