Third-party cookies have long been used to track users across the internet, allowing businesses to collect data on users’ browsing habits and use that data to target advertising. However, as privacy concerns have grown in recent years, Safari and Firefox have phased out support for third-party cookies. Chrome is due to follow and end third party cookies support by 2024.
These actions have led to some concerns among publishers, who have relied on data from third-party cookies to generate revenue through targeted advertising. This is also a concern for advertisers, who need an identifier to ensure the audience they are targeting is valid, and they are addressing the right ads to these audiences.
So, what are the solutions publishers can use in response to the end of third-party cookies and to increase their revenue?
1. How the industry’s responded to the end of third party cookies
Different solutions exist for publishers and advertisers. These solutions are based on :
- First party cookies OR fingerprinting
- With a deterministic approach OR a probabilistic approach
- Contextual targeting
One approach is to focus on first-party data, which refers to data that is collected directly from users on a publisher’s own website. By building relationships with their users and using methods such as email marketing and subscription-based models, publishers can gain a better understanding of their users’ interests and use that data for targeted advertising. Using first party data to monetise inventories has proven to generate an uplift in CPM for authenticated audiences (logged-in traffic, traffic coming from newsletters, or when a user comments).
Additionally, some publishers have begun to experiment with alternatives to third-party cookies, such as browser-based fingerprinting.
2. Is fingerprinting ethical, and does it respect the user’s privacy?
Fingerprinting is a method of tracking users across the internet by collecting data on their browser and device settings. This data can be used to create a “unique fingerprint” for each user, which can then be used to track them as they move from website to website. However, fingerprinting has come under fire for its potential privacy implications and for being a potentially unsustainable method of tracking users. Google and Apple are against this practice.
Some browsers, such as Firefox, have started to implement measures to prevent browser fingerprinting, such as randomising browser data, blocking requests to certain types of data, and constantly rotating the IP addresses. While fingerprinting may appear as a solution to maintain revenue stream, it raises a lot of ethical and legal issues, as users do not give a clear consent to being tracked.
It may have a short-term benefit, but long-term implications might compromise the trust and reputation of the publisher. Fingerprinting is an option, however, is not a sustainable practice in the long term.
3. What are the advantages of a deterministic approach?
In a deterministic approach, advertisers have 100% certainty that the individuals they are targeting are shown the ads and marketing attribution is not biased.
Probabilistic approach only offers a certain degree of probability that the user has certain characteristics.
A probabilistic approach is not as scientific as a deterministic marketing approach.
An accurate targeting campaign must rely on quality data and typically, that is first party data.
4. What is LiveRamp’s solution to the end of third party cookies?
The monetization of advertising inventories and in particular authenticated traffic, the protection and enhancement of user data in a programmatic ecosystem, the end of cookies, are crucial issues for publishers.
Our Authenticated Traffic Solution (ATS) enables the creation of addressable audiences without third-party cookies and captures the budgets of many advertisers who are investing more and more in deterministic data. Because our solution offers advertisers more transparency and the ability to better target users in a secure environment, advertisers prefer to pay a higher CPM and focus on this type of inventory.
It is important to note that this solution costs nothing to publishers and is quick and easy to implement.