Before the Covid-19 pandemic, Google rocked the ad tech world when he confirmed he would drop support for third-party cookies, the common currency of programmatic trading, in his Chrome web browser in 2022.
After Adweek first reported that Google was considering the changes in March 2019, imitating policies in Apple Safari, the industry has entered a state of what Ratko Vidakovic, founder of the consulting firm AdProfs, calls “systemic flow”.
This sparked a series of identification initiatives from several vendors who wanted to continue targeting online advertisements independent of third-party cookies. The Trade Desk, the largest independent ad technology company outside of Big Tech, has emerged as a market leader, helping to drive adoption of the Unified ID 2.0 offer, the most successful of these initiatives to gain popular support from vendors and publishers.
Where we are now
Now the market will need to consolidate around a handful of these credentials, all of which will need to be interoperable, but such consolidation is unlikely to materialize until the years after 2022.
Without a doubt, Covid-19 has had an impact on programmatic advertising, but the shock, although immediate, was relatively brief because it was programmatic. lent itself well to the recovery of marketers’ confidence, many of whom reaffirmed their advertising plans from the end of the second quarter after a spending hiatus during which companies adjusted to the spread of the coronavirus. The fact that brands have realized that they can fine-tune and optimize their ad campaigns more skillfully using ad technology has set a welcome precedent and will likely survive the pandemic.
Meanwhile, Apple continued its war on targeted advertising (outside of its own ecosystem) with the rollout of its iOS 14, which will require consumers to sign up before advertisers can access its iPhone IDFA – the equivalent of the app-based cookie – from early 2021.
Battles between some of the well-known names in Silicon Valley, most notably Apple and Google, will dictate the fate of countless ad tech companies whose data practices are increasingly under scrutiny by the government worldwide. However, the potential Big Tech breakup could work in favor of smaller ad tech companies, as a forced divestment of some of Big Tech’s smaller ad tech assets is likely to prove a boon to independent players.
Where we are going
Google has made progress toward maintaining behavioral targeting of ads in its Chrome browser, while preserving user privacy, beyond 2022. This has mostly happened through its Privacy Sandbox initiative, a series of go-and-go proposals. -comments on privacy standards between Google and freelancers taking place through the W3C Web standards body.
Independent ad tech players have expressed frustration Google’s lack of progress and communication regarding Privacy Sandbox, especially since these proposals have the potential to form the foundation for the functioning of the online advertising system.
Danny Hopwood, Omnicom Media Group, please, head of digital signage and investment solutions, says there is a lot of uncertainty at a time when “we’re incredibly approaching [identifiers]”go away.” There’s nothing definitive, and it all seems a little experimental, “he says.
At the root of all of this is privacy legislation under the guise of the European General Data Protection Regulation, and in the United States, advertising industry is pushing for federal law similar to the California Consumer Privacy Act, the most basic set of privacy laws in the United States, to avoid a patchwork of regulations.
The rivalry between Apple and Google will dictate the fate of many