Before the Covid-19 pandemic, Google rocked the ad tech world when it confirmed that support for third-party cookies, the common currency for programmatic trading, will end on its Chrome web browser in 2022.
After Adweek first reported that Google was considering the changes in March 2019 and mimicking the guidelines in Apple's Safari, the industry fell into what Ratko Vidakovic, founder of consulting firm AdProfs, describes as "systemic flow".
This led to a number of multi-vendor ID initiatives that wanted to continue online ad targeting independently of third-party cookies. The Trade Desk, the largest independent ad tech company outside of Big Tech, has emerged as the market leader and helped drive adoption of the Unified ID 2.0 offering. This is the most successful of these initiatives to gain support from vendors and publishers alike.
Where we are now
Now the market needs to consolidate a handful of these IDs, all of which need to be interoperable, but such consolidation is unlikely to have an impact until after 2022.
Obviously, Covid-19 had an impact on programmatic advertising, but the shock, while immediate, was relatively brief as programmatic lends itself well to regaining confidence from marketers, many of whom revert to their advertising plans from late second quarter after a break Confirmed Spending Companies Adjusting To The Spread Of Coronavirus. The fact that brands have realized that they can use ad tech to more skillfully customize and optimize their advertising campaigns has set a welcome precedent and is likely to outlast the pandemic.
Meanwhile, Apple continued its war on targeted advertising (outside of its own ecosystem) with the launch of its iOS 14, which requires consumers to sign in before advertisers can access the iPhone ID IDFA – the app-based equivalent of the cookie . from the beginning of 2021.
Battles between some of the big names in Silicon Valley, including Apple and Google, will determine the fate of countless ad tech companies whose data practices are increasingly the subject of government control around the world. However, the possible breakup of Big Tech 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 be a boon to independent players.
Where do we go
Google has made strides in maintaining behavioral ad targeting in its Chrome browser while maintaining user privacy beyond 2022. This was mainly done through the "Privacy Sandbox" initiative; a number of proposals for data protection standards between Google and independent companies are made through the W3C web standards committee.
Independent ad tech players expressed frustration with the lack of progress and communication from Google regarding the privacy sandbox, especially as those suggestions can lay the foundation for how the online advertising system works.
Danny Hopwood, Omnicom Media Group, svp, head of Digital Display and Investment Solutions, says there is a lot of uncertainty when "we (identifiers) get incredibly close". "There's nothing in particular and everything feels a little experimental," he says.
All of this is underpinned by data protection legislation under the guise of the General Data Protection Regulation in Europe. In the United States, the advertising industry is campaigning for federal law similar to California's Consumer Protection Act, the most basic set of data protection laws in the United States. prevent a patchwork of regulations.
The rivalry between Apple and Google will determine the fate of many