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As we embark on a new year, digital advertisers are faced with a seismic shift – the long-anticipated (or perhaps, dreaded) death of the cookie. Google’s announcement in 2020 set the stage for the gradual phasing out of third-party cookies, and now, the depreciation of the cookie is finally a reality. In this blog post, we’ll explore the history behind this change, what it means for advertisers, and how you can continue to succeed in a cookieless digital ecosystem. 

A Brief History of Cookie Depreciation 

The journey to a cookieless era began in January 2020 when Google revealed plans to phase out third-party cookies in its Chrome browser. However, the timeline faced several delays. In June 2021, Google pushed back the deadline from 2022 to 2023, citing the need for more testing in its Privacy Sandbox initiative. By late 2023, it became clear – the cookie was on borrowed time. 

Google developers confirmed just a few weeks ago that Chrome would disable third-party cookies for 1% of users from January 4, 2024, gradually increasing to 100% by Q3 2024. The Privacy Sandbox and disabling of cookies aim to enhance consumer privacy but pose challenges for advertisers relying on cookies for targeted advertising and ad platforms that use cookies to generate revenue. 

What This Means for Your Business 

With cookies disabled, marketers lose access to valuable Chrome website data. This impedes their ability to track consumers’ real-time digital footprints for precise audience targeting and detailed campaign reporting. Marketers will no longer be able to report on campaign effectiveness with the granularity to which they have become accustomed. Yet despite these challenges, innovative advertisers are finding alternative solutions. While some are collecting and using first-party data, others are finding targeting and measurement methods that work without relying on cookies. 

How You Can Prepare 

Cadent has been proactive in preparing for the cookieless future since 2020. Our Aperture Viewer Graph, powered by multiple household identifiers, serves as a robust alternative to cookie-dependent signals. Aperture Viewer Graph is used for data onboarding, audience management, audience-based activation, and advanced measurement within Aperture Platform. 

Rather than relying on cookies, Cadent leverages +40 billion daily signals in addition to both deterministic and probabilistic data sets, covering areas such as truth set, postal address resolution, geolocation, and more. These sources are ultimately resolved to the household, which enables Aperture Viewer Graph to run without cookies and support accurate household resolution across a variety of identifiers. This patented model for associating identifiers to households is always-on, always-learning, and always validating that devices are mapped to the correct households.  

Since 2020, Cadent’s TV-first approach to identity has shielded our advertiser customers from the cookie dilemma. While hashed email becomes more prominent, Cadent recognizes the need for privacy-safe, device-level signals as consumer habits shift to CTV (Connected TV) and mobile devices.  

Next Steps 

Going forward, as audiences increase their consumption of CTV, digital, and mobile media, there will be an increased need for privacy-safe, device-level signals. Advertisers will require consistent and accurate linkage between IP, Device IDs, and households to support outcome-based measurement and improved frequency capping for cross-channel campaigns. 

In the evolving digital landscape, the demise of cookies is a catalyst for innovation. Aperture Viewer Graph exemplifies our future-thinking approach to advertising, embracing the cookieless era. As the advertising ecosystem continues to transform, advertisers must adapt to stay ahead. Ultimately, the cookie may have crumbled, but opportunities for strategic adaptation are boundless. 

Get in touch today to learn more about Aperture Viewer Graph and how Cadent can support your advertising initiatives.