The predictions are now a stark reality. Apple’s new Intelligent Tracking Prevention feature, rolled out with the latest version of its Safari browser in September, is taking a heavy toll on retargeters and industry players that rely on third-party cookies to track and place advertisements.
In Q4, Criteo expects the feature to have a significant negative impact of 8 to 10 percent, or around $20 million, on revenues. In 2018, the negative impact could increase to 9 to 13 percent of revenue. In December 2017, Criteo admitted that Apple’s iOS 11.2 update patched the workaround it had devised for Safari, sending shares plummeting once again.
Large swathes of the digital ad industry are still tied to the cookie as a primary means for identifying audiences and measuring campaigns. But the cookie is rapidly losing value.
We’re already seeing businesses reporting a significant reduction in conversions on Safari since iOS 11 was released. This is in addition to cookie blocking and deletion occurring prior to the iOS change. Our research indicates that cookies overstate reach by 108 percent, understate frequency by 45 percent and understate media attributed conversions by more than 41 percent.