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How The New York Times is reshaping its ad business for a cookie-less world (digiday.com)
28 points by davidgerard 24 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 5 comments



Title is misleading, it's about third-party cookies being blocked by Apple and causing the NYT to do more first-party tracking and to build what sounds like their own first party ad exchange instead of relying on less effective third party implementations. They're even bragging about the new datapoints they are collecting in the article:

> To address that, the data science team created new contextual classifications of content, including the emotional tenor of a story, topic targeting and the motivations that audiences felt after reading an article.

> With the absence of the third-party cookie, Murphy said that data will become more important, but the methodologies behind understanding the data and pin-pointing accuracy will change from the previous model.

If anything their tracking and collection of personal data and preferences is increasing.

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As a funny anecdote my American father refuses to to visit many European sites because "they have cookies". The difference between those sites and the American sites he spends most of his time on? The ones in the EU have a footer telling him about it. Cookies as a tool are being demonized as a distraction from the industry moving towards a first-party model that collects even more data, as demonstrated by this article.


> new contextual classifications of content, including the emotional tenor of a story, topic targeting and the motivations that audiences felt after reading an article

With the partial exception of the last one, isn't that just data about the content and not the people reading it?


Yes, but ultimately the feature engineering on the content will be used for creating more sophisticated/granular/detailed user segmentation.

Because third party data brokers partner with a variety of publishers, the segments they create from the data and make available to advertisers are generally fairly generic. NYT's internal team only has to focus on their own content, so it's perversely leading to even more precise targeting capabilities than the previous situation.


This honestly sounds like a great development and I hope other sites will follow suit. Though off-topic: One thing that might explain the lack of loss of subscriptions that it is so incredibly frustrating to cancel your subscription. I had the luck to have subscribed with PayPall and just stopped paying. Otherwise I would've jumped through a large set of arbitrary hoops just to cancel my subscription. I have never ever seen such a consumer hostile environment for cancelling a subscription.


I’ve made this same comment before, but another perk of using Apple devices is you are able to toggle your subscriptions on/off in the Settings. So if I want to cancel my NYT subscription it’s as simple as 4 taps on my iPhone. Additionally, you can subscribe to the NYT anonymously, which I like and do.




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