Reduced urgency in cookieless

Digiday revealed that a number of publishers are feeling a lack of cookieless momentum as advertisers pull back on testing budgets following the Google delay.  This slowing momentum and industry wide fragmentation is leaving some publishers divided on what to do in the cookieless future.  In his AdWeek article, Mark Stenberg discusses the diversity of motives at play – from the likes of IPG, New York Times, and the Guardian – as well as the impact of Google’s delay.  Ultimately, there’s an element of wait and see for many:

For the majority of publishers, wait and see has become the popular approach. Ad buyers have yet to embrace any cookie replacement en masse, so publishers miss little by sitting on the sidelines. By not investing in what could ultimately be a failure, cash-conscious publishers are also making a defensible financial decision, at least in the short term.

Mark Stenberg, AdWeek

However, in what could be seen as preparation for the deprecation of third party cookies and/or buyers looking for quality audiences, advertisers are looking direct to publishers for scalable audiences.

the audience segments they [publishers] own can then be made accessible to advertisers in the form of either new bid request signals provided by the publisher or more simply through a bid request deal ID


It’s no surprise then, that OpenX research found that 85% publishers say first party data will be important to their future revenue, though only 66% are currently using it to drive ad revenue.  Google’s pause will allow more publishers to shore up first party audiences & audience modelling capabilities, to grow direct as well as PMPs and programmatic guaranteed too.

Identity: M&A, LiveIntent & OpenX, Yahoo’s ConnectID

Whilst momentum in cookieless may seem to be slowing, that isn’t the case for everyone.  For instance; special interest publisher IDG acquired KickFire to bolster its first party data, TransUnion acquired Neustar to bolster its own identity aspirations, and Yahoo added partners for ConnectID.

Launched in 2020, Yahoo’s ConnectID is a unified ID solution that benefits from Yahoo’s direct consumer relationships and large ID graph.  This week they struck integration deals with a number of measurement providers (IRI, mParticle and NCSolutions) in a bid to scale its identity solution further.  Furthermore, Yahoo struck an identity pact with Adobe in a move that will mean more advertisers using Yahoo’s ConnectID.

Know your CPMs

In order to offer buyers their most relevant & performant audiences, publishers need to know their CPMs.  For instance, Carbon’s revenue analytics layer auction insights upon audience and contextual signals to show publishers their CPMs being generated thereby showing their key revenue drivers & opportunities.  This week, Carbon shed some light on CPM levels among food & drinks brands, with some highlights including the Waffle House ($3.79), Oreo ($3.60), Shake Shack ($3.64), and the healthier option of Sweetgreen ($3.65).

Audio advertising is a growing area of interest, with podcasts in particular attracting more advertisers and higher levels of investment as listener numbers grow.  As a result, podcast CPMs have reached new highs according to AdvertiseCast, with the average CPM for a 60-second spot reaching $23.55 in August 2021.

Other interesting reads

There’s a really insightful article from the New York Times that discusses how The Battle for Digital Privacy Is Reshaping the Internet, specifically breaking down how we got here today and the varying routes big tech companies are taking.  There’s clear lack of agreement at the top with Apple aiming to block tracking completely and Google looking to serve ads whilst protecting people’s data, with the situation summed up well in a quote from Jeff Green (CEO at The Trade Desk): “The internet is answering a question that it’s been wrestling with for decades, which is: How is the internet going to pay for itself?”

  • US B2B digital ad spend will hit $10.84bn this year after increasing its share of digital ad spend from 4.9% (2019) to 5.7% (2020) where it will hold steady for the next few years.
  • Apple unveiled the new iPhone and a host of new products this week, but this comes against a backdrop of privacy changes and the impending iOS 15 rollout.  There’s a great ‘cheat sheet’ from Digiday into the impact iOS 15 could have primarily in email marketing with Apple building their own walled garden.
  • US Congress to fund new bureau to protect privacy allocating $1bn to the FTC to staff it, holding companies accountable for failing to protect consumer privacy.
  • News aggregation site & app SmartNews raised $230m with plans to expand its US presence and headcount.  The company makes majority of its revenue through ads with more than 3,000 publishing partners whom they share ad revenue with.

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