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Summary
  • With the rise of privacy and security as consumer issues, and Google the only browser player with a big ad business, Chrome’s leading position has become increasingly vulnerable.
  • In response to privacy-oriented moves by competitor browsers, Chrome announced on Jan 14 2020 that it planned to phase out 3rd-party cookies within two years – with a substantial impact to advertisers’ ability to target ads.
  • Google continues to be supportive of “an ad-supported web” but has set the two-year timeline to allow for alternatives to emerge that facilitate personalization while maintaining privacy.
  • Browsers are a critical front in the broader sweeping transition towards direct relationships with consumers.
  • The transition, however, has the potential to break the business models of adtech firms, ad agencies, retail and consumer brands, data brokers, credit agencies, financial services companies, telecom companies, and beyond.
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