Advanced Television

Survey: Cookie deprecation sentiment shifts

May 2, 2023

DoubleVerify, the software platform for digital media measurement, data and analytics, has released findings from its Post-Cookie Questions: The Evolution of Advertising Strategies and Sentiments. This second report in DV’s ‘Post-Cookie Questions’ research examines the evolution of cookie deprecation strategies, the shift towards user privacy and its impact on digital advertising. The first report, which was released in early 2022, evaluated the impact of industry changes in their business models and forward-looking strategies.

Conducted in February 2023, across four global markets (US, LatAm, APAC, EMEA), the report polled over 800 respondents with a wide breadth of industry backgrounds – from media buyers and ad operations to senior decision-makers on both sides of the industry.

Key findings of the report include:

Cookie Depreciation Concerns Remain High, But Lessen Year-Over-Year

Overall publisher concern about the impact of cookie deprecation on their business remains consistent year-over-year, with 60 per cent of publisher respondents indicating they were either “very concerned” or “moderately concerned.” However, those who stated “very concerned” decreased year-over-year by one-quarter (25 per cent). Advertisers indicated that “multiple browsers phasing out third-party cookies” was their primary concern amidst recent privacy changes. Only 24 per cent of the surveyed publishers stated they currently had a post-cookie solution in place. The remaining respondents were either still testing or hadn’t yet begun the process.

Publisher Revenue Expectations and Audience Reach Are Top of Mind

With third-party cookie deprecation and other privacy-related changes, 48 per cent of publisher respondents in 2023 anticipate cookie deprecation having a positive impact on their company’s revenue. This is a decrease from the 64 per cent of respondents who answered the same in 2022.

On the advertising side, 31 per cent of advertisers indicated that their ability to target audiences effectively was among their greatest concerns in a cookieless future.

Meanwhile, nearly 50 per cent of publishers believed that making data accessible in open-market environments will be one of the biggest challenges with relying on first-party and contextual data.

When it comes to first-party data offering and strategies, both publishers and brands vie for supremacy. Nearly half of all advertisers surveyed cited their own first-party data activation as the cookie-independent solution that holds the most promise. Meanwhile, nearly half of all publishers stated the same for their own first-party data activation, highlighting the misalignment.

Publishers and Advertisers Agree that Contextual and Attention Measurement Are Top Priorities

As publishers and advertisers try to balance delivery and scale, contextual solutions and capabilities are top priorities. 96 per cent of publishers surveyed say that contextual advertising capabilities will be important for their businesses in 2023, and 76 per cent of them considered the quality of their contextual capabilities as “good” or “very good.”

For the advertisers, 94 per cent of respondents stated they were planning to rely on contextual advertising for at least some of their buys in their 2023 media strategies, and 78 per cent of them went on to state that the contextual advertising capabilities they’ve seen from publishers as “good” or “very good.”

“While interest in both contextual and attention-based advertising is on the rise, publishers must always consider what works best for their clients. Attention and contextual solutions represent new opportunities to measure performance in privacy-friendly ways,” said Steven Woolway, EVP of Business Development at DoubleVerify. “Our survey findings indicate that in a post-cookie future, both of these will play a role. In that pursuit, trusted third-party metrics can allow publishers and brands to speak a common language on these topics in the marketplace.”

Publishers and Brands Look to Align on Attention in 2023

Both brands and publishers pointed to attention’s potential as an advertising currency. Publishers have already started adapting, as 94 per cent of publisher respondents have described attention-based capabilities as important to their business this year. On the buy side, advertisers also plan to rely on attention-based metrics (96 per cent) in either most or some of their ad buys in 2023.

“The imminent deprecation of third-party tracking has publishers and advertisers looking for viable solutions and it seems that both sides are in agreement with contextual, attention and first-party data strategies,” added Woolway. “Opportunities are abundant for publishers and advertisers to align in new and impactful ways, and now is the time to cultivate direct partnerships and develop or refine capabilities.”

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