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No third-party cookies for the New York Times readers

Ads and cookies

The New York Times is preparing to give up the third-party cookies. In an interview for Digiday, The Times’ svp of ad innovation Allison Murphy mentioned they were working for “a third-party cookie-less future”.

How the market will be without third-party cookies

The New York Times decided to prioritize its subscriptions a few years ago. Then, it grew up to 6.5 million paid subscribers. Thus, it allowed its marketing team to plan and change for a future without third-party cookies.

When the coronavirus crisis began, 44% of its ad sales just disappeared. So, Allison Murphy, the Times senior vice-president, says that the company eliminated the ads popping up, as there “were crap.” Also, they used to cause “technical delays and hiccups.”

Thus, the company managed to clean its websites and only has a couple ads per page that operate smoothly. Moreover, she emphasized that they come from brands that the publisher knows.

Although this affected revenues, “we can make some of those hard choices knowing that there is a long sustainable path to a sustainable business,” Murphy mentioned.

So, when the third-party cookies will be gone for good, Muprhy says that her team will focus on first-party alternative solutions.

”The space we have to play in is helping [brands] build a relationship with the audience they care most about,” she added. Murphy also emphasized that the option for buying and selling ads will soon become unavailable, as the third-party cookie will soon disappear.

A bet on contextual advertising

In 2018, the Times data science team created new contextual classifications of the content. So, it included the emotional progress of a story, topic targeting and the motivations of the audience after reading it.

Then, it placed the tags on the content the content generated. Thus, it could dig further and find what users wanted to see.

But Muprhy thinks that in order to do this, there is a need for an honest conversations with brands. So, advertisers should understand that they can not target users based on a specific job, age and gender using banners, for instance.

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