Previewing an Industry
without Cookies

February 3, 2020

By JoAnna Foyle, OpenSlate COO

The agenda at AdExchanger’s 2020 Industry Preview covered diverse, forward-looking topics like the State of Commerce, Gen Z, M&A, AI, the Future of TV/OTT/Insert Platform Here. What seemed to be top-of-of mind for everyone at the event was something else entirely. Can we just have a quick chat about Google Chrome’s announcement that the use of third-party cookies will be eliminated within two years?

That is how nearly every single session at the event started last week.  “I know we’re here to talk about [insert topic here], but I’d first like your point of view on how Google’s announcement will impact your business and our industry.”


It’s understandable, given how many companies run cookie-based, audience-based businesses.  On-stage experts from LUMA, Needham & Company, Nielsen, and others offered plenty of predictions that ranged from complete doom to this being a wonderful opportunity for innovation and new entrants.  I, for one, predict an influx of consulting services trying to help cookie-based businesses to make sense of the “Privacy Sandbox” Google assures everyone will replace the third-party cookie. I also predict that under the veil of improved user privacy, the castle walls around the platforms will only grow higher.

OpenSlate for our part has always been based on content analytics.  We watched an industry become hyper-focused on pin-pointing the exact right human for an ad, believing that one day the context and environment in which an ad is viewed would matter again.  The brand safety moment in 2017 caused that awakening — and this new cookie-free landscape will put renewed focus on the art and science of using content as a proxy for reaching audiences. Here at OpenSlate, we’re ready for it.

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