Blog May 06, 2024 |

Exclusive BlueConic survey: 78% of publishers are prioritizing first-party data to address cookie deprecation

Building first-party data assets and investing in alternative ID solutions were revealed as key strategies for senior media and publishing execs.   

BOSTON, MA (May 6, 2024) – An exclusive survey from market-leading customer data platform BlueConic has revealed the top strategies that leading publishers are currently using or planning to invest in over the next five years to counter third-party cookie deprecation.

The findings come from a phone survey conducted in partnership with WBR Insights, which spoke to 100 senior revenue leaders from across the media industry. The participants included a mix of B2C and B2B publishers and broadcast media from leading companies like Hearst, The Information, Fast Company, The Boston Globe, and Roularta Media Group.

Key findings from the survey include:

  • Publishers feel lukewarm about the future: Only 13% strongly agree that their organization is prepared for the changes and challenges facing the media, followed by 55% who somewhat agreed.

  • First-party data is important for revenue: 38% of respondents said first-party data is fundamental to their revenue strategy, while 37% said they used it in some areas of their revenue strategy, but not extensively. Moreover, 8% admitted to underutilizing first-party data as part of their revenue strategy and 17% said they do not incorporate it into their revenue strategy at all.

  • Revenue model mix reveals advertising opportunities: Advertising remains ever-present for publishers over the next five years (92%), with growing adoption of events (61%), subscription models (54%), ecommerce (39%), and other business models to diversify revenue. Recognizing that advertising revenue growth hinges on creating high-quality, differentiated audiences and experiences, publishers’ top three investment areas include advanced data collection and analytics capabilities (69%), improved direct audience relationships (48%), and improved digital user experiences (47%).

  • Cookie-deprecation strategies are varied: To prepare for cookie deprecation, most respondents (78%) are building their own first-party data asset with a customer data platform (CDP), data warehouse, or other data collection technology. Additionally, 66% are investing in alternative identity providers to replace cookies, with the most common including LiveRamp (55%), The Trade Desk’s Unified ID 2.0 (32%), and ID5 (21%). Others (60%) are investing in data clean rooms to build second-party audiences, while 51% are adopting the Google Privacy Sandbox to replace cookies.

  • Cookie-deprecation didn’t make the top 3 challenges: While third-party cookie deprecation gets a lot of coverage, publishers have more than just cookies on their mind. When asked what three challenges will impact their company’s ability to evolve over the next five years, 55% said changes to social media algorithms, 48% said privacy and data regulations and 47% cited economic and market fluctuations.

  • The market is filled with noise and confusion: Notably, while 85% of respondents said their company uses a CDP, 25% of the cited vendors are not CDPs.

“While third-party cookie deprecation has been a long time coming, it’s good to see publishers are now realizing that first-party data is the most effective way to ensure resilience and adaptability in the face of this change,” said Patrick Crane, Enterprise Account Executive at BlueConic. “However, it’s surprising how many publishers believe they are using a CDP, yet cited platforms that don’t sit within the category. This confusion likely stems from platforms overstating their CDP capabilities to meet market demand. We advise buyers to exercise caution when it comes to ‘catch-all’ solutions and instead look for a single, cohesive platform that helps them transform their customer data from a thing they collect and store to a thing they learn from and profit by.” 

Notes to Editors:

The survey was conducted in partnership with WBR Insights via phone interviews and surveyed decision-makers at media and publishing companies who included a mix of B2C and B2B publishers and broadcast media. Data was collected in February and March 2024. For further details on the breakdown of respondents and the full report, please get in touch. 

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