How do you prepare for a world without cookies?

Teads' third study on the imminent elimination of third-party cookies shows that publishers are looking to take action this year to prepare for a cookie-free world.

Omar Piras, VP Publishing for AT, CH, CEE and Nordics at Teads.

For the third time, Teads, the global media platform, has conducted a study among publishers on the topic of cookielessness. More than 300 of the best publisher brands from 49 countries were surveyed. The study represents a cross-section of small, medium and the largest media companies in the world. They answered questions about their level of knowledge about a world without cookies and how they are preparing for it.

Uncertain and confused

When asked about their knowledge of the world after the elimination of third-party cookies, 70 percent of publishers admitted to currently being uncertain and confused. Whereas in 2021, 10 percent said they had little or no knowledge of how the digital world would develop after cookies were removed, in 2023, only three percent of respondents said this was the case. The confusion stems from the large number of solutions on offer for a digital world without cookies, say 51 percent. At the same time, they are well aware of the effect that the elimination of cookies will have. What makes 73 percent of the study participants uncertain is that they have not yet built up a great understanding of what initiatives exist in the industry in response to the elimination of cookies and what their advantages are.

A large part of the publishers want to act this year

Some 69 percent of media companies surveyed say they plan to act this year before Google, on its Chrome browser, also eliminates cookies, likely during 2024. When asked exactly what this action will look like, 32 percent say they will initially keep up with developments and stay up-to-date until they take action in the third or fourth quarter. 23 percent even say they are dedicating dedicated teams and resources to the issue, and another 14 percent have developed an action plan they plan to implement with multiple partners to adequately prepare their digital universe for the cookie-less world.

A majority sees the development as positive

Two-thirds of the study participants consider the developments surrounding the elimination of third-party cookies to be positive and not a threat to their media company. Around 34 percent believe that the changes offer an opportunity for their first-party data and the quality of their content to set them apart from the competition. 59 percent rate first-party data as one of the most effective solutions for succeeding in a cookie-free world.

First step for first-party data: A suitable login strategy

A well thought-out login strategy is needed to obtain such valuable first-party data. This is still lacking at 55 percent of publishers. In fact, 82 percent of media companies have less than 35 percent of their users logged in. There is a lot of catching up to do here.

Partners are welcome for the future strategy

While 70 percent of companies are concerned about user experience (UX) and loyal users, there are no collaboration partners that most media companies prefer to further develop a suitable strategy. At the same time, however, they are willing to share important data such as the ID of first-party cookies with third parties in order to generate higher revenues. They even see this as an opportunity to expand direct relationships.

Omar Piras, VP Publishing for AT, CH, CEE and Nordics at Teads, says: "It is remarkable that publishers see these rapidly advancing developments as positive. Currently, there is a rapid succession of new technologies that can help media companies prepare well for the world without third-party cookies. At the same time, however, it also means constantly learning new things. This is the only way publishers can sustainably overcome their uncertainties and confusion. I see the new cookie-free advertising world as an opportunity for publishers to strengthen their media brands. By partnering with experienced technology companies in the cookieless space and focusing on high-quality content, publishers will continue to be able to offer the best opportunities for advertisers. We very much look forward to accompanying and supporting media companies on this exciting journey."

More info about the study

Teads is the leading global media platform for programmatic advertising. Through premium media partnerships, Teads enables advertisers and agencies worldwide to reach 1.9 billion people per month in brand-safe, reputable advertising environments. The Teads Ad Manager (TAM) end-to-end platform significantly improves the effectiveness and efficiency of digital advertising transactions: Advertisers and agencies can create ads, manage them directly and optimize them using state-of-the-art creative technology (Teads Studio). Teads has developed the Attention Program for measurability and increasing advertising effectiveness: It optimizes advertising media for all screens based on data and thus increases the success of advertising campaigns. Teads works with the leading marketers, agencies and publishers in a team of over 1200 employees in 30 countries. 

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