News / Hey – Who Moved My Cookies

Hey – Who Moved My Cookies

Dec 9

Written by Sinclair Digital

In 1988 a famous business book came out called “who moved my cheese” written by Spenser Johnson.  The book sold more than 26 million copies in 37 languages. The book dealt with change in the workplace.  Today change in the workplace is happening in the way we consume digital media. As permission for cookies becomes more of the norm thanks to GDPR and CCPA, the use of cookies for targeting as a percentage of uniques will decrease leading some to ask “who moved my cookies”. Further compounding and exacerbating the issue is the rapid move of video publishing to CTV where there are no cookies.  The ability for ad platforms to accurately target becomes more difficult.  This may lead to decreased match rates of programmatic cookie-based targeting solutions.

Some ad platforms have even tried to outsmart some of the platforms by redirecting users to their own site before a marketer/advertiser’s ad impression runs. This way they can set a cookie and store the data locally. By definition this would be a first-party cookie.  But platforms are getting wise to these types of work arounds. Apple recently cut off local storage with the release of ITP 2.3.

In a CTV environment it is much more difficult to target without cookies.  A people-based identifier is needed.  An ad platform can then take the people-based id’s and link them back to the data sources without a cookie.  Leading OTT/CTV ad platforms such as Sinclair’s CompulseOTT are utilizing this technology through tech partner Live Ramp.   Live Ramp’s deterministic ID graph, called “Identitylink”, uses IP’s and device ID’s  (IDL’s)  to link these data sets.  It solves for the problem of no cookies in CTV.

Interestingly, the match rates in CTV utilizing this method are even more accurate than cookie-based solutions.  ComScore recently conducted a study where they measured Live Ramp’s device linkage against a panel of 13.6 million verified devices and individuals. The sample showed a 95.3% accuracy of correct matches.

For those advertisers that are using some ad platforms that were born in traditional mobile and desktop digital ad platforms where cookies were prevalent – BE CAREFUL. Many of these operators have now pivoted resources to chase the OTT/CTV growth – BE CAREFUL.  If your looking to purchase CTV ad impressions that have the best potential match rate for 3rd party data segments then the backend tech stack the platform is using to identify the IP’s and device ID’s is really important.

Here are some questions to ask:

1.    How do you target in CTV?

2.    How do you get your Id graph

3.    How often is your graph refreshed

4.    Do you have permission from the platforms to gather this information for your ID graph

5.    What percentage of your OTT is CTV only(remember cookies don’t work in CTV)

6.    What data providers do they work with and have direct relationships with

While using targeting in OTT/CTV can be complicated, working with a reputable provider who is using trusted vendors, trusted data and transparent reporting in their tech stack makes it easier.

If you have questions on accurate data targeting in CTV  let’s have a conversation.

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