The Cookie Has Outlived Its Usefulness

Whoa—are you still wearing all black in the wake of Chrome’s decision to sunset third-party tracking cookies by 2022? Are you wearing that veil to hide your tear-streaked cheeks?

My goodness—get over it! Even people living under rocks knew that Google was going to put the third-party cookie out of publishers’ misery sooner or later. Besides, let’s be honest—digital media had really reached the limits of the cookie’s usefulness as a stand-alone identifier.

In a recent playbook with LiveRamp about Life Beyond Cookies—which you should have already read, but there’s still time to catch up—we laid out all the troubles that finally caught up with the cookie.

  • The cookie is a browser tool, and digital traffic is increasingly being monetized in cookieless environments like mobile and connected-TV apps. The latter is an enormous opportunity as it is siphoning dollars from linear TV advertising. 
  • Increased traffic to cookieless environments means that the supply of cookies is on the decline.
  • The cookie has a short lifespan. It’s a general rule that a cookie should expire no more than 30 days after it is placed. 
  • Cookies can be deleted at any time by a user, and their deployment is halted via ad blockers.
  • Cookie-syncing causes great latency within the programmatic pipes, slowing down on auctions and potentially causing publishers to miss out on quality bids.
  • Cookies degrade quickly in a waterfall effect: every time data is sent through a DMP, then to a DSP, and then to an SSP, the cookie pool shrinks, reducing the reach of advertisers.  
  • A cookie represents only a device or browser; two browsers on the same device will have completely different identifiers although they represent the same person.
  • Users have little visibility into what data is being collected through cookies and how they are being used. Opting out of data collection via cookies can often be a (purposefully) byzantine process. 

And if you’re still mourning the cookie after reading that, get help. Perhaps in the form of AdMonsters Playbook: Life Beyond Cookies, brought to you with the help of grief experts LiveRamp.