Are You Prepared to Thrive in a Cookieless World?

When Google postponed killing off third-party cookies, it gave advertisers and publishers some breathing room. But that doesn’t mean that the advertising ecosystem is now completely challenge-free. 

Top of mind for the entire advertising ecosystem: data, privacy, and trust. These areas will have major implications as the ad tech industry seeks unified identity solutions to solve for a cookieless future.

Yahoo is already making significant strides into planning for the third-party cookie’s demise through ConnectID, Yahoo’s link to its proprietary first-party data. They provide an environment created with the transparency consumers seek, with 91% associating the Yahoo brand with trust.  

People first. Partnership always. Performance now.

Advertisers also want a safe space with more than three-quarters saying trust, quality, and brand safety are the most important qualities of premium inventory, according to Yahoo’s internal data.

Publishers and marketers are turning to identity solutions to help with trust. The central reason publishers are adopting new identity solutions is data privacy (59%), while marketers say it is to support audience targeting (52%). 

Powering First-party Data Built on Trust

There is a direct link between consumer trust and privacy. Consumers want to know how their data is being collected and used by publishers and advertisers. Yahoo discovered they have genuine privacy concerns, with more than half of consumers feeling they are being tracked online more than ever and 65% agreeing that online ads are more intrusive than they used to be. Because of this, it is crucial that publishers and advertisers be transparent with consumers, empowering them to make informed decisions about how their data may be used.

Along with quality and content, Yahoo found that 60% of advertisers said a publisher’s first-party data, targeting capabilities, and ability to target at the user level with consent are most important.

“Our consumers come to Yahoo for their daily email, their news, and a lot more. We manage all these trusted connections with our users and in turn, we extend that trust to the advertising community. Our advertisers get the first-party data from our users who have consented for its use on our ad tech platforms,” shares Yahoo’s Senior Director of Ads Targeting, Identity & Trust Products, Giovanni Gardelli.

A Privacy-first Solution for the Shifting Identity Landscape

With Yahoo’s unified stack, there are two primary ways that advertisers can target individuals. “We offer both deterministic and contextual targeting for advertisers that are available on both our first-party supply as a publisher and also across the thousands of third-party publishers that we partner with,” says Gardelli.

To leverage that deterministic data, Yahoo launched a key component of its identity strategy 12 months ago with Yahoo ConnectID. It serves as part of Yahoo’s unified identity solution and draws on data from millions of opted-in users across Yahoo’s global portfolio of owned and operated media properties. Yahoo ConnectID addresses privacy concerns by keeping the data within Yahoo’s walls.

Yahoo ConnectID has been scaling quickly. During the last month, over 1,900 advertisers have bought Yahoo ConnectID supply. There has been a three-time increase in advertiser spend on supply among Yahoo ConnectID adopters on Firefox and Safari buys via the Yahoo DSP. 

More than 12,000 web domains have implemented Yahoo ConnectID, including Yahoo properties and leading publishers like Cafe Media, BuzzFeed, The Arena Group, and many more in the works. By leveraging Yahoo ConnectID, ad management provider Mediavine saw an 80% increase in eCPM rates on Firefox and Safari. 

Yahoo is also leaning into third-party data sources through direct integrations with its interoperability partners. Interoperability allows Yahoo ConnectID to match with third-party IDs for seamless audience activation within the Yahoo DSP, while also growing publishers’ potential pool of demand.

Navigating Towards a Cookieless Future

Not only is the deprecation of cookies causing issues with identity, but there are also complications brought on from privacy laws, consumer protection regulations, and iOS App Tracking Transparency (ATT).

Apple’s privacy updates that launched with iOS 14 resulted in 62% of people opting-out of device tracking for ads. This non-addressable inventory, where consent is not given, is the other side of the identity coin. It prevents publishers from knowing the identity of their users when they are not logged in or coming from unknown mobile web traffic. 

Ad tech is taking steps to contend with these identity challenges. Three in four marketers said they were likely to test new or further identity partners in the near future.

Yahoo recently launched Next-Gen Solutions for ID-less inventory, which complements their ID-based inventory solution, Yahoo ConnectID. Gardelli sees having an integrated identity solution that works for both identity-led and identity-less environments as the next step in Yahoo’s progress.

“We see ourselves as a continued support to the publisher and ad ops communities through the transition and a partner around privacy, trust, brand safety, and all the other needs central to the cookieless days that lie ahead,” he said.