Each day, we draw closer to the most disruptive change to the digital advertising industry, ever.
It’s been over a year since Google announced plans to remove third-party cookies and block cross-site tracking in Google Chrome.
As the last browser to support third-party cookies (the foundation of digital advertising today), Chrome’s announcement was a turning point for the ad industry. Digital advertising would have to be redesigned, from the ground up — otherwise, the outcome for publishers’ revenue looked bleak.
Advertiser spending without third-party cookies
No one can make an accurate prediction about what will happen to ad revenue and RPM without third-party cookies. We can make educated guesses based on what we’ve seen happen with advertiser spending for people using browsers like Firefox and Safari that block cross-site tracking. CPMs on those browsers are typically 50% lower today.
With absolutely no alternative targeting methods for advertisers, you could expect to see a similar drop in ad spending to reach people using the Chrome browser.
Thankfully, there are promising alternatives in the works.
We’ve made great strides toward a future where advertisers can continue spending confidently on the open web, and independent publishers can continue to make a living by creating great content.
AdThrive’s work to support publishers through the third-party cookie crisis
Over the last year, we’ve spent countless hours working within the W3C with Google and other major players in the industry, hashing out replacements for third-party cookies.
Championing small independent publishers, we’ve been able to contribute significantly to the proposals for replacing cookies and the approach for ensuring that those replacements meet the needs of publishers. (Like here, here, here, here, here, and here, for starters.)
We’ve also participated in dozens of closed-door meetings with major advertisers, publishers, and ad tech companies discussing alternative solutions and contingency plans.
And beyond helping rebuild the advertising technology approach, we’re forging forward with strong initiatives on audience identity, contextual data advancements, and direct ad sales to ensure that AdThrive publishers’ revenue stays strong into the future.
Even with all this preparation, we’ve faced a lot of uncertainty. There’s still a lot of work to be done across the industry and a lot of collaboration that’s necessary.
Cookie Coverage for all AdThrive publishers
But we’re confident that the advancements and investments we’re making will result in the best possible future for AdThrive publishers.
To help protect you from revenue losses from the end of third-party cookies, we’re launching AdThrive Cookie Coverage.
Cookie Coverage shields you from RPM drops when third-party cookies go away, starting at 5% protection for all AdThrive publishers.
Here’s what that means for AdThrive publishers:
For each quarter in 2022, we’ll cover up to a 5% RPM loss related to Chrome removing third-party cookies. We’ll calculate and pay out Cookie Coverage on a quarterly basis.
With traffic from the Chrome browser accounting for about 50% of most sites’ traffic, this roughly translates to protecting against at least a 10% dip in CPMs for Chrome traffic.
But to keep it simple, Cookie Coverage will use overall RPM because that best reflects your actual take-home revenue!
If your RPM is 1–5% lower in Q1 2022, we’ll cover the full amount to bring it up to the same RPM you had in Q1 2021.
If it’s 6% lower, we’ll cover the first 5% so you ultimately only experience a 1% dip in RPM.
Who’s eligible for Cookie Coverage?
We want this to help as many publishers as possible, so we’re keeping the terms and conditions as short and simple as possible! You’ll find some simple eligibility requirements here.
Cookie Coverage is available to every publisher who is running AdThrive ads as of June 15, 2021 (and, of course, is working with AdThrive in 2022). Publishers with higher levels of annual take-home ad revenue may be eligible for higher percentages of Cookie Coverage.
In the next few months, AdThrive publishers will receive an option in the AdThrive publisher dashboard to accept Cookie Coverage. All you’ll have to do is agree to the terms and conditions there, and you’re in!
Not working with AdThrive yet? Join by June 15, 2021, and receive Cookie Coverage for 2022. Apply today!
Ultimately, we’re excited to be moving towards a more private web for users. It’s going to be a huge adjustment, but it’s moving the internet into a better place that we can all continue to enjoy for years to come.
We want to ensure that our publishers are protected through these changes, and we’re happy to take on some of the future risk to give you peace of mind!