Apparently there is a secret battle currently being fought between Google, the Ad Exchanges and ISP’s with the ultimate victim of this conflict being the humble cookie. These cookies are not the crunchy biscuit based ones favoured by that cute blue muppet monster but those tiny electronic tracers saved to your browser that follow your activity online. And that Big Data is big business because it allows advertisers to track consumer behaviours and target accordingly.
This has been pretty much the order of things across the majority of online platforms since that whole interweb thingy was borne. However, it’s all about to change. And the main catalyst for that change is the inexorable shift of the web onto mobile devices. And on mobile, nothing is consistent.
According to Omar Tawakol the CEO of data management company BlueKai “Mobile doesn’t have a functioning third-party cookie world. In a world where you have inconsistent browser treatment of cookies, and third-parties cookies have instabilities, we need a solution. I’ve told my company that within 12 months we are going to be completely prepared for a cookieless world everywhere.”
So the battle is on to find the new standard in ad-tracking technology and according to sources such as New York Times, the likes of Google are already some way down the line with their version…
And (depending on whose figures you believe) with between 33 per cent to 41 per cent of the global USD 100 billion online ad market and around 56 per cent of the mobile market, Google certainly has what you might call a vested interest.
Whilst pondering the vast sums of money at stake I did begin to wonder what Google might call their version of cookies. Googlies perhaps? (I’m thinking I might register the name just in case).
Anyway swiftly moving on, this isn’t just about Google as they are not the only ones developing their own cookie killers. The likes of Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Double Click etc. are all allegedly working on their own variants. No ‘cookie cutter’ solution then? (ugh).
“We’re really playing a ‘Game of Thrones’ here with multiple players looking to dominate,” added BlueKai’s Tawakol.
What is evident is that the cookies we have all become so familiar with are actually in danger of being killed off. And the alternatives could prove to be a whole lot more painful for agencies and advertisers alike. A kind of proverbial kick in the Googlies? (trademarked by Mr S Blakeman October 2013).
The author, Steve Blakeman, is the CEO of OMD Asia Pacific
Mr Blakeman is a Contributor to Digital Market Asia’s editorial commentary; more of his views can be found under his column #sowhoknew that kicked off on September 26, 2013…