On this episode of Beyond Impressions, Marketron’s senior product marketing manager for digital, Jenny Slade, spoke with Katy Sokolowski, lead associate account director at The Trade Desk. Sokolowski is an expert on digital advertising and shared her insights on the end of third-party cookies, a trend that has local media sellers concerned.

Google has delayed the end of third-party cookies several times but appears to be moving forward in 2024. First, Sokolowski explained what third-party cookies are. “Lou Montulli first developed cookies for e-commerce. So, if someone went to a website, put items in a shopping cart, left, and returned, it would still be there.”

The third-party cookie development was for a better user experience, but the advertising industry discovered it and wanted to use it for monetization. “How it’s used now was much different from the intentions,” Sokolowski noted.

So, why the end of third-party cookies? “Google and Safari cite consumer privacy as the reason, but the truth is there are lots of benefits with cookies. The technology is pretty archaic and has limitations,” Sokolowski said.

One of the big inefficiencies is that third-party cookies treat every device you use as different, so there’s no connection between all your internet activity. Ultimately, the advertising industry needs to shift to a first-party data solution.

The cookieless world will be one where first-party data is the foundation. The Trade Desk has developed Unified ID 2.0, which is privacy-centric and a better option for advertising targeting. “It’s based on an email address or phone number, which is anonymized and secure. As we move toward an authenticated internet, we have to look toward a non-cookie future,” Sokolowski shared.

Next, Sokolowski offered more insights into first-party data and the impact on local media sellers. She and Slade discussed the NAB report, which projected that broadcasters could lose $2.1 billion annually without cookies. The new cookieless future can be one where consumers have control over their data, and advertisers can target more precisely.

Listen to the interview to hear more from the experts.


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