Digiday+ Research breakdown: When do advertisers and publishers actually think Google will get rid of cookies?
This research is based on unique data collected from our proprietary audience of publisher, agency, brand and tech insiders. It’s available to Digiday+ members. More from the series →
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We already know that Google’s timeline of phasing out third-party cookies from its Chrome browser by the end of this year is a complicated one. But when do the marketing and media industries think cookies will actually be gone, if ever?
Digiday+ Research posed this question to 121 agency, publisher, ad tech, retailer and brand professionals.
First of all, Digiday’s survey found that, interestingly, pretty much everyone believes the third-party cookie is truly on its way out. More than three-quarters of all respondents to Digiday’s survey (76%) said they disagree that Google will never get rid of third-party cookies in the Chrome browser.
And further, nearly half of all respondents (48%) disagreed strongly that the third-party cookie will never actually go away. For context, only about a quarter (28%) said they disagreed only somewhat.
The numbers look similar when we break out agency and publisher professionals: 73% of agency pros told Digiday that they disagree that Google will never get rid of cookies, with 46% of agencies disagreeing strongly. And 78% of publisher pros said they disagree that the third-party cookie will never go away, with that group split between 39% who said they disagree strongly and 39% who said they disagree only somewhat.
So the question remains: When exactly do advertisers and publishers think the third-party cookie will go away?
Overall, Digiday’s audience is split on whether Google will take until the end of this year to officially kill the third-party cookie, or if cookie deprecation will overflow into the first quarter of 2025. Fifty-six percent of all respondents to Digiday’s survey said they agree that Google will get rid of cookies before the end of 2024. Similarly, 55% said they agree that cookies will be gone at some point in the first quarter of 2025.
When it comes to the respondents who agree that Google will get rid of cookies in Q1 2025, looking more closely at the data, more respondents agreed only somewhat with this timeline. Forty-one percent of all respondents to Digiday’s survey said they agree somewhat that the third-party cookie will be gone at some point in Q1 2025, while just 14% said they agree strongly.
By a small margin, Digiday’s survey found that agency pros think Q1 2025 is the most likely timeline for the deprecation of the third-party cookie. Sixty-one percent of agency respondents said they agree that Google will get rid of third-party cookies in Chrome in Q1 of next year, with a timeline before the end of this year coming in close behind with 57%.
But digging a bit deeper, agencies’ opinions on Google’s cookie deprecation timeline aren’t as solid as they seem. Slightly more than a third of agency pros (37%) said they strongly agree that Google will get rid of cookies before the end of the year, but one-third (33%) also said they somewhat disagree with this. Meanwhile, more than half of agency pros (52%) said they agree only somewhat that Google will get rid of cookies at some point in Q1 of next year, while just 9% said they agree strongly with that timeline.
Digiday’s survey found that publishers also think that Q1 2025 will be the third-party cookie’s official death date, but as a group they’re more definitive about it than their agency counterparts. More than two-thirds of publisher pros (67%) told Digiday that they agree that Google will get rid of cookies at some point in Q1 of next year, with a bit less than two-thirds (61%) agreeing that Google will get rid of cookies this year sometime.
And breaking down the data, most publishers are only somewhat sold on these timelines. Just over half of publisher pros (53%) said they somewhat agree Google will get rid of cookies in Q1 2025, and just under half (44%) said they somewhat agree cookies will be gone in 2024. In comparison, just 14% said they strongly agree the timeline will be Q1 of next year and 17% said they strongly agree the timeline will be before the end of 2024.
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