Smart AdServer launches Identity Indicator to analyse consent and identity ad trends

Ad tech platform, Smart AdServer (Smart) has launched its Identity Indicator, a quarterly report that offers insights into the emerging trends around consent and identity throughout the shift towards a privacy-first, cookieless digital advertising ecosystem.

Identity Indicator collects data from web and mobile inventory and offers comparative insight across eight regions. Key metrics fin the innaugural report for the UK advertising market include:

When exploring the share of ad inventory from browsers already limiting third-party cookies:

  • On desktop, only 13% of auctions take place in browsers that already limit third-party cookies (Safari and Firefox)
  • On mobile, 20% of auctions take place in browsers that limit third-party cookies (Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, and Opera)
  • Over two-fifths (42%) of auctions have no user ID attached (no cookie, mobile ID or other user ID sent in the bid request)
  • Two-fifths (40%) of auctions include an alternative ID sent in the bid request

International trends highlighted in the report include:

  • Most desktop and mobile traffic still comes from browsers that accept cookies. When it comes to usage of browsers limiting third-party cookies, in general, countries that fall under GDPR show higher rates across both desktop and mobile.
    • One exception is the US, which ranks highest in mobile browser usage limiting cookies at 34% – likely due to the large percentage of iPhone users in comparison to other markets.
  • Germany, which in 1970 was the first country to introduce data protection regulation, ranks highly across multiple metrics, highlighting how its long history of data protection has shaped user expectations and behaviours.
    • Germany has the highest desktop browser usage limiting third-party cookies at 34%, 9 percentage points higher than France, which comes in second at 25%.
    • Germany also has the largest share of auctions taking place without user ID at 45%, 12 percentage points higher than the US, which comes in second at 33%.
  • One fifth (22%) of ad auctions in France currently register without consent to use personal data. This number is significantly higher compared with other markets which operate under the GDPR, and may rise following the latest CNIL recommendation, which went into effect on 1st April.

We are excited to launch our first Identity Indicator to help brands and publishers navigate the cookieless future. Consent and identity alternatives will remain key industry topics, so we feel it’s important to offer regular snapshots of the market, as well as highlight overarching trends as we shift towards a privacy-first world.

Marine Desoutter, Product Marketing Lead, Smart