Apple’s App Tracking Transparency (ATT), Google’s expected deprecation of third-party cookies, and evolving privacy regulations are all combining to cause a dramatic shift in digital advertising.

While it is uncertain exactly what the advertising landscape will look like in the future, it is clear that, as third-party cookies are phased out, first-party data will become increasingly important in delivering relevant advertising. As a result, businesses with high volumes of first-party data suddenly find themselves in a powerful position in the new privacy-first market, and many are setting up highly profitable advertising networks to make the most of this situation.

Perhaps the most notable example is Retail Media Networks (RMNs), which are essentially advertising businesses set up by retailers. RMNs give advertisers privacy-compliant access to a retailer’s first-party data, combined from both online and offline sources. Advertisers can use this data to reach the retailer’s customers with relevant advertising, using ad inventory across the retailer’s digital channels, including web, app, and social.

Crucially, RMNs allow brands to connect with potential customers when they are actively shopping and interacting with retailers, rather than when they are browsing the internet or scrolling through friends’ social posts.

But retailers aren’t the only ones taking advantage of the ad revenue opportunity first-party data brings.

Gaming platforms are already building successful ad-funded businesses, and streaming services are also getting in on the act, with Netflix and Disney+ opening ad-funded tiers in late 2022 and early 2023 respectively. Last year, food delivery service DoorDash announced a suite of products that would enable advertisers to serve ads on its platform. And earlier this year, Apple announced it would expand the inventory it makes available to advertisers on its devices, meaning more ads and sponsored products on App Store, Stocks, and News.

From travel and financial service providers to food delivery services, first-party customer data is being used to sell highly sought-after advertising inventory and create valuable revenue streams.

Stats 2

  • 55% of businesses believe RMNs will deliver higher conversion rates because adverts appear when consumers are actively shopping and willing to spend