The predictions are now a stark reality. With its Q3 earnings release in early November, Criteo confirmed what until then had been only speculation: 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.
Criteo said during its earnings call that the feature negatively affected its third-quarter revenue by less than $1 million. 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.
Without a doubt, Criteo is only the first of many industry players that are likely to feel the pinch of Apple’s unequivocal move to ouster the cookie. The software updates to Safari, which accounts for roughly a third of mobile browser traffic, catapult yet another advantage into the walled gardens of Facebook and Google.
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