But as AdWeek points out, the cookie has been crumbling for a while now. Cookies never worked for mobile apps, and as smartphones got better consumers relied less heavily on their browsers. And now that consumers—and regulators—are eyeing online privacy with much greater interest, it stands to reason advertisers would start looking to other forms of data collection.
So what might this look like? Here are a few possibilities.
Media sites: Publishers that embrace first-party data (think: sign in to read this article or even pay up to read this article) are going to find themselves increasingly valuable to advertisers. But they might be able to play hard to get. Some publishers are finally reporting decent subscription revenues for their digital products, which means they aren’t as reliant on advertising revenues.
Social platforms: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and any other platform that catches logged-in data are going to be especially valuable to digital advertisers. With cookies off the table, the ability to track first-party identification, purchase habits and on-platform engagement will be huge.
Ad-tech companies: You know the companies that serve the programmatic ads you see all over the web? No cookie is no bueno for them. They’re going to have to adapt, and adapt fast. They are scrambling to find a new universal ID solution that can replace the cookie.
And then there’s Google itself…
Google’s ad business is a big part of its revenues. Ditching third-party cookies to come into compliance with data protection laws might seem like a blow to the company’s bottom line. But when you look at all the Google-owned products that collect first-party data—Gmail, YouTube, Maps, Google Home, Android and even the search bar—it’s clear the giant is set to further dominate the data game.