Publisher Ad Monetization After the Third-Party Cookie

Publisher Ad Monetization After the Third-Party Cookie

First-Party Data Strategy Comes to the Fore

About This Report
The deprecation of the third-party cookie in Chrome will be significantly disruptive for publishers that monetize their sites with advertising. Here’s how web publishers are preparing for a future without third-party cookies.
Table of Contents

Executive Summary

The deprecation of the third-party cookie in Google’s Chrome browser, a change expected by 2022, is driving publishers to create alternative paths to generating digital display advertising revenues on their websites. But the death of the cookie also opens up unique opportunities for content publishers to reclaim a central role in the digital ad ecosystem as entities with direct, trusted relationships with their audiences.

How will the deprecation of the third-party cookie affect publishers’ ability to monetize their sites?

Publishers are the most exposed parties to third-party cookie loss, which will affect ad addressability, causing programmatic cost per thousand (CPM) pricing on the unidentified web to plummet. Publishers expect to increasingly leverage their own first-party data in a cookieless future.

How are publishers evaluating new or proposed identity solutions?

Like marketers, publishers are examining various identity solutions designed to replace the third-party cookie as a persistent identifier on the web. Buy-side adoption will be among the strongest incentives for publishers to integrate any solution, but publishers should also ensure that solutions are compliant with data privacy regulation, will drive yield, and are manageable for their teams and on their sites.

How can publishers prepare for the deprecation of the third-party cookie in Chrome?

Publishers are building or expanding their first-party data strategies, such as increasing their authenticated users, advancing their contextual and behavioral data collection and insights capabilities, and exploring data collaborations with advertisers or brands. Work is also being done in, in collaboration with the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), to develop a standardized taxonomy that would allow publisher first-party segments to be transacted programmatically at scale.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report investigates how publishers are evaluating identity solutions, building first-party data strategies, and collaborating with partners to monetize their sites without the third-party tracking cookie.

KEY STAT: Nearly half (49%) of US digital media professionals polled by Integral Ad Science in October 2020 cited third-party cookie deprecation as one of their top three challenges for the industry in the following 12 months.

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Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Setting the Stage
  3. Publisher First-Party Data Strategies
  1. Key Takeaways
  2. Insider Intelligence Interviews
  3. Read Next
  1. Sources
  2. Media Gallery

Charts in This Report

Interviewed for This Report

Sara Badler
Senior Vice President, Advertising and Partnerships
Interviewed January 12, 2021
Paul Bannister
Chief Strategy Officer
Interviewed January 19, 2021
Andrew Baron
Vice President, Machine Learning and Marketplace
Interviewed January 8, 2021
Phil Bohn
Senior Vice President, Sales and Revenue
Interviewed January 19, 2021
Yigael Chetrit
Adwanted Group
Global CTO
Interviewed January 14, 2021
Mark Connon
COO and General Manager
Interviewed January 8, 2021
Kerel Cooper
Interviewed January 12, 2021
Chris George
Group Nine Media
Interviewed January 22, 2021
Benoit Hucafol
Smart AdServer
Head of Product
Interviewed January 21, 2021
Romain Job
Smart AdServer
Chief Strategy Officer
Interviewed December 14, 2020
Jason Kint
Digital Content Next
Interviewed January 6, 2021
Amit Kotecha
Marketing Director
Interviewed January 27, 2021
Stephanie Layser
News Corp.
Vice President, Advertising Technology and Operations
Interviewed January 14, 2021
Amanda Martin
Goodway Group
Vice President, Enterprise Partnerships
Interviewed January 15, 2021
Garrett McGrath
Vice President, Product Management
Interviewed January 13, 2021
Jana Meron
Insider Inc.
Senior Vice President, Programmatic and Data Strategy
Interviewed January 13, 2021
Scott Messer
Leaf Group
Senior Vice President, Media
Interviewed January 22, 2021
Ian Meyers
Head of Addressability Product
Interviewed February 6, 2021
Jordan Mitchell
Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Tech Lab
Senior Vice President, Head of Consumer Privacy, Identity, and Data
Interviewed January 19, 2021
Cory Munchbach
Interviewed January 19, 2021
Ryan Pauley
Vox Media
Chief Revenue Officer
Interviewed January 21, 2021
Mike Peralta
Future plc
Chief Revenue Officer
Interviewed January 25, 2021
Dave Pond
Head of Media Strategy and Operations
Interviewed January 15, 2021
Premesh Purayil
Interviewed January 22, 2021
Sunil Rao
Vice President, Analytics
Interviewed January 13, 2021
Joe Root
Co-Founder and CEO
Interviewed January 27, 2021
Somer Simpson
Vice President, Product Management
Interviewed January 20, 2021
Alexandra Theriault
Chief Customer Officer
Interviewed January 19, 2021
Len Ostroff
Senior Vice President, Global Supply and Partnerships
Interviewed January 15, 2021
Jason White
Senior Vice President, Head of Publishers
Interviewed January 11, 2021

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Read This With Insider Intelligence


Audrey Schomer


Ross Benes
Caroline Fulford
Nicole Perrin
Principal Analyst
Tracy Tang
Senior Researcher