Interactive Advertising Bureau
10 July 2024

Guest Member Blog Post with Magnite - Is Confidence Eroding as the Cookie Crumbles? It hasn't disappeared!

In this week's member guest blog post, we hear from Pete Danks, VP of Market Activation at Magnite & Lead of IAB Europe's Post Third-Party Cookie Working Group. He discusses if confidence really is eroding as the cookie crumbles. Pete takes a look at the work IAB Europe’s working group is doing and our findings from recent research into this topic to share his view on whether the market is ready. 

As reported by Digiday, recent research by Adobe suggests a troubling trend. Their study indicates a decrease in marketer confidence regarding the post-cookie landscape. In 2022, the majority (78%) of marketers felt prepared for the cookie's demise. By 2024, that number had dropped almost a quarter to 60%.

Put another way: as we get closer to the potential beginning of the end, reality seems to be kicking in.

At IAB Europe we run a working group on this very topic, which brings a mix of sellers, buyers, and technology vendors together from across Europe and further afield. In February we published the following study: The Post Third-Party Cookie Countdown: Industry Readiness and it is interesting to see how things are evolving.

Indeed we have seen this backward trend is somewhat mirrored in our own findings. At the recent IAB Europe Interact conference in Milan, we posed the same question from the survey to the live audience: "Do You Agree That You/Your Company Is Prepared For The Deprecation of Third-Party Cookies?" 

This time, only 21% of respondents strongly agreed - a decline from nearly 31% earlier this year. 

Factors Influencing the Confidence Crisis

Our original research revealed some key factors stopping respondents from feeling confident about their readiness including;

1. A lack of Strong First-Party Data Strategies

2. Needing more Industry Collaboration and Standards

3. Needing more Education and Communication

4. Driving Innovation and Solutions Beyond Cookies

Perhaps the confidence scores suggest that the industry hasn’t made enough progress in these areas.

A Closer Look: Pragmatism Beats Optimism?

While confidence may be waning a little, it's important to note that it hasn't disappeared.

Over 50% of respondents who participated in our poll at Interact still agreed or strongly agreed with the statement about being prepared. This is an almost identical figure from the February survey - it’s a noticeable shift from strong confidence to a more hesitant or neutral position. 

Our Interact audience data showed a full third (33%) expressed neutrality, which is a significant increase from 16% earlier in the year.

This may indicate a transition from a proactive, ready-for-change mindset to one of uncertainty and cautious optimism.

Why does it Matter and How can we Help?

Away from the largest players in the online advertising space, this stuff really matters. What many of us call the “Open internet” is far more exposed to cookie deprecation, data erosion and privacy legislation. And for perhaps the first time, the quiet bit has been said out loud;

  • 62% of survey respondents said they plan to shift their spend primarily to walled garden ecosystems like social media platforms 

That is a call-to-arms for anyone that isn’t a ‘walled garden’ to take action. SSPs like Magnite for example are working hard to help aggregate small and medium publishers in meaningful ways, and allow for first party data activation at scale. In the IAB Europe working group, we are exploring multiple solutions as part of the education and innovation challenges called out earlier in this post. Ultimately, it feels like now is the time to work together with peers, partners and even competitors if we want to tackle these challenges robustly. 

**IAB Europe’s Post Third-Party Cookie Working Group  has been formed to help foster a collaborative and informed community in anticipation of the imminent removal of third-party cookies. The working group’s mission is to empower stakeholders from across the digital advertising ecosystem with the knowledge, resources, and support necessary to navigate the evolving landscape. To join please contact Helen Mussard

Our Latest Posts

IAB Europe
Rond-Point Robert
Schuman 11
1040 Brussels
Sign up for our newsletter
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram