Case Study

Cookie-Based vs Cookie-Free Data


Google is poised to eliminate third-party cookies within Chrome in 2024, marking the official end of the drawn-out conversation surrounding the depreciation of third-party cookies. Regardless if it’s pushed back again, it’s inevitable that it will happen.

To prepare, we ran two different tests across 15 campaigns to uncover how cookie-free data performs compared to traditionally proven third-party cookie-based data.


  • Tested across 15 different campaigns
  • Flight dates varied, ranging from 3 weeks to multi-month campaigns
  • Campaigns included multiple verticals and audiences, such as travel, healthcare, CPG, finance/banking, and government
  • Ad formats for the campaigns included banners and online video (OLV)


We utilized tried-and-true data solutions through our DSP partners for the third-party behavioral cookie data. Below are the three cookieless data providers we leveraged for this test.

A trusted partner for planning, transacting and evaluating media across platforms.

Demo + Predictive Audiences Solution leverages over 1,500+ future-proof predictive audiences built using cookie-free contextual and opt-in audience behavioral data.

A proven partner due to their data quality, innovation, tracking, and cookieless solutions.

Their ‘Data-Driven Context’ solutions use consumer content consumption habits to model contextual segments that can be activated in any campaign.

Has access to privacy-safe, opt-in, cookie-free data from data partners and top publishers, including Conde Nast, Equifax, and Experian.



To understand performance holistically and uncover watch-outs, limitations, and key takeaways, we analyzed three different campaign goals:

  • Cost Per Action (CPA)
  • Click Thru Rate (CTR)
  • Video Completion Rate (VCR)


Overall Performance: Cookie Data

Behavioral cookie data audiences drove higher conversion numbers (56 vs 25)

eCPM: Oracle

Oracle had the lowest eCPM average

Scale: Cookie Data

Behavioral cookie data had the highest scale, but all partners had very good scale capability

Main Takeaway

Cookie-based data had a stronger performance, largely due to scale.

We predict as cookie-free data grows and strengthens, performance will better mirror that of cookie-based data.


Overall Performance: Comscore and Oracle

Comscore and Oracle tied for best average performance: 0.19% CTR

eCPM: Oracle

Oracle had the lowest average eCPM, followed by Comscore

Scale: Cookie Data

Behavioral Cookie data audiences had the most scale, followed by Comscore

Main Takeaway

Cookie-free data outperformed cookie-based data.


Overall Performance: Comscore

Comscore just slightly higher average performance at 83.8% VCR compared to Behavioral cookie data at 82%

eCPM: Cookie Data

Behavioral cookie data had the lowest eCPM

Scale: Comscore

Comscore tended to scale better on average

Main Takeaway

Cookie-based data and cookie-free data yield similar performance.



For these tests, we analyzed one KPI: click-through-rate (CTR).

Audigent’s first-party data is both privacy-safe and relevant for brands as it comes directly from trusted publishers. The tests were performed using their data in a private marketplace (PMP) using both a Supply Side Partner (SSP) and Demand Side Platform (DSP).


Overall Performance: Cookie Data & Audigent

Behavioral Cookie Data and Audigent tied for best average CTR at 0.18%.

eCPM: Audigent

Audigent had lower average eCPMs compared to Behavioral

cookie data.

Scale: Cookie Data

Behavioral cookie data had better scale as Audigent’s tactic was limited.

Main Takeaway

While there were some scale issues with Audigent, it had comparable performance to the cookie data. The lower eCPM is a great indication that Audigent is a great partner to use for more cookieless tests and campaigns in the future.


01. Brands should NOT be nervous.

There are many future-proof, cookie-free solutions available to advertisers. As we move closer to a world without third-party cookies, these solutions will adapt and even more will enter the market.

Our test proved that the cookie-free solutions either performed similar to, or even better than cookie-based solutions.

02. Perform your own tests.

Consider running A/B tests that directly compare third-party cookie-based data vs cookie-free data. The sooner you start to test, the better your brand can understand and know what data is best to leverage moving forward.

03. Remain confident in your goals.

While CPMs are slightly higher for a cookie-free solution, performance is strong. Advertisers should remain confident they will continue to achieve their goals into the cookie-free future.

Like what you see? Join the 500+ clients that have partnered with Digilant.