CPMs On Cookieless Ad Inventory Rise As Competition Increases

Quantcast CTO Peter Day shared preliminary data around cookieless ad inventory testing conducted with brands, and found that prices have increased 40% year-over-year (YoY).

The global programmatic adtech firm runs an AI-powered DSP that predicts the audiences that are most likely to buy, found that cookieless inventory rose from being 14x less expensive a year ago to 2.4x cheaper at the present time.

Nearly half of the advertisers Quantcast works with run cookieless inventory on more than 20% of ad buys. Campaigns are running in both environments. Tests are based on more than 6,000 campaigns.

“There have been significant cost increases due to us doing stuff more effectively as more people are starting to test, even with their own media budgets,” Day said.

Quantcast began running tests for its clients about 18 months ago, but the first six months were spent onboarding advertisers.



“The biggest change we saw were increasing CPMs, but that was from a very low base,” Day said. “When we started last year, it was almost offensively cheap to buy high-quality impressions, because there wasn’t that much competition for it.”

With more competition, CPMs start to increase. There has been more competition for the ad space of late, but not nearly as much as cookie-based inventory.

When asked whether there is an opportunity to reduce CPMs, Day said it will take a little longer to get a signal back. Much of the company's focus has been trying to get publishers more comfortable with new measurements. 

“It’s always easier to test and learn by measuring things during a short conversion cycle,” he said. “We have a lot more CPA data on short conversion cycles like travel, software, tech and online retail.”

The cookieless environment is the second most effective targeting tactic because of the large audiences and not as much competition. Advertisers can buy ads at significantly lower costs. The most effective is cookies.

There is room for improvement. Quantcast released an updated model in November and saw a 13% lift across the board. For every dollar, advertisers now see 13% more conversions.

“I think we will continue to see improvements during the next six to 12 months,” he said.

Day also shared that when Yokohama Tire and its agency Charts+Darts ran its first cookieless campaign to reach untapped audiences, Quantcast used lookalike audience modeling to find consumers similar to those already visiting its website searching for tires.

Running ads in cookieless and cookie-based environments, Yokohama found that CPAs fell 34% quarter-over-quarter and 61% year-over-year. Quantcast’s Cookieless Breakdown report, comparing performance with and without third-party cookies, measured CPAs as 46% lower and their reach as 1.8x higher.

According to a third-party foot traffic study, the addition of cookieless advertising had a positive impact with a 356% lift in incremental projected in-store visits and 55% decrease in cost per incremental visit.

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