Google’s cookie announcement: The date has changed, but the recipe hasn’t

Talia Comorau and Pete Danks

August 11, 2022 | 3 min read

Google has confirmed what many industry pundits were predicting – an extension to the removal of third party cookies in Chrome to mid 2024. Surprise or not, it’s a major announcement for everyone involved, and allows for more concrete planning in terms of milestones and the actions needed to achieve them.

Before we give an update on Magnite’s solutions, it’s worth reminding ourselves of the bigger picture:

  • The clock is still ticking: This is a (further) delay but we are all still expecting major changes to come to Chrome – and there are few reasons not to be ready.
  • The journey has already begun: Third party cookies have already gone from most non-chrome browsers – such as Safari (~19% browser market share), Firefox (~4%) and a number of others – whilst over 42% of internet users use ad blockers which equates to a large proportion of the web already blocking third party cookies. Meanwhile, advertisers’ use of third-party cookies continues to decline with, for instance, a near 10% decline in the second half of 2021 from 97% in May to 88% in December (Advertiser Perceptions). In addition, rising mobile use has meant third-party cookies have been of diminishing importance in some more mobile-dominant markets.
  • Signal loss: More broadly, the third party cookie is just another example of a reduction in identifers available for targeting, optimization, and measurement. For instance, IDFAs have significantly reduced availability, Google has discussed similar changes for the Android ID, and IP addresses are running out of favor in some countries.
  • Privacy matters: Demand for more privacy-centric solutions is growing, regardless of what Google decides to do with Chrome. Even if third party cookies stay on Chrome forever, the shift towards non ID-based advertising will continue.

Buyers and Sellers must continue to prepare for a largely ID-less future, and Magnite is building solutions to support just that. Our solutions fall into 3 main categories and are all in late stages of development or early beta testing:

  • Matching Services: Light privacy enhancing technology (PET) built to match and activate imobile PII in a secure fashion.
  • Seller Defined Audiences: Products built to help publishers with standardized segmentation and syndication (and allowing for some exciting developments bringing Magnite scale to that technology too).
  • Context: Content related targeting that relies on nothing other than understanding the session for a given user.

And for now? Audience targeting and identifier-based tech still works in some environments, so the pragmatic approach is to use it, whilst preparing for change. Magnite has built multiple world-class audience platforms supporting all audience targeting and many measurement capabilities across its platforms – which together comprise the world’s largest independent omnichannel SSP.

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