Google Chrome Phases Out 1% Of Cookies: What Advertisers Need To Know

The beginning of this year marked the beginning of the end for third-party cookies on Google Chrome as the web browser began the gradual process of phasing out cookies, finalizing the transformation of digital advertising from cookie-based to cookieless. It's the first step toward enabling and broadly testing Google’s Privacy Sandbox, which aims to create technologies that both protect people's privacy online and give companies and developers tools to build thriving digital businesses.

The initial phaseout applies to 1% of Google Chrome users to facilitate testing, with the broader phaseout slated for Q3 2024, which will affect all of Chrome’s more than three billion global users.

What Impact Can Advertisers Expect to See?

With the initial phaseout affecting 1% of cookies disabled in Google Chrome as of Jan. 4, we shouldn’t expect to see an immediate impact on programs. For context, Chrome owns about half of the U.S. browser market share.



Similar to the effects of Apple’s implementation of App Tracking Transparency controls within iOS 14, with continued industrywide cookie deprecation, expect to see a potential impact on addressable audience sizes over time, and continued challenges with media attribution. However, this is a great signal forward to ensure privacy-first strategies are in place, audited, and actionable..

Adapting For the Privacy-First Future of Advertising

While the news of this change made headlines recently, the march towards a more privacy-focused future has been years in the making. Countless industry consortiums, privacy advocacy groups, and alternative identity methods have cropped up to aid advertisers in navigating these changes.

Industry-wide cookie deprecation requires advertisers to strategically shift approaches and strengthen their direct engagement with consumers. This involves continuing to prioritize the collection of first-party data, adopting a stance that’s privacy-first, and diversifying marketing efforts across various channels. 

Advanced technologies, such as customer data platforms, can aid in data management and strengthen existing programs by analyzing trends and patterns from first-party data, ultimately helping to deliver a more targeted and personalized experience for each user. Scalable identity-based solutions such as LiveRamp’s Ramp ID or The Trade Desk’s Unified ID 2.0 can also be used as alternatives to cookies to reach first-party audiences.

This moment represents a new era in advertising and can’t be circumvented by a temporary adjustment in tactics or activating cross-platform features. Instead, advertisers must recalibrate now, if they haven’t already, to adopt a more comprehensive and sustainable, privacy-first approach, investing in durable media targeting and attribution solutions that combat signal loss, maintain regulatory compliance, and meet their brand’s unique measurement needs.

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