Who Ate The Cookies?

How podcasts help you wean off of 3rd-party cookie data.

My iPhone has been annoying. Persistently annoying. It keeps asking me whether i’ll allow an app to track my activity across other apps.

My answer is always no – and big tech knows this.

Apple has taken the stance that privacy is a user right. And they’ve taken the steps to grant users more ability to opt-out of any type of targeting or tracking. This change has occured across Apple’s entire product portfolio. According to Tinuita, “this is predicted to reduce consent rates to 10-15% of Apple devices.”

Apple and Mozilla have blocked third-party cookie tracking on their browsers and Google plans to do the same this year. With the need for third-party cookies diminishing, brands must move to a new strategy.

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Cookies 101:

  • A cookie is a small text file that stores personal preferences when you visit a website.

  • It helps websites remember passwords and save items in your shopping cart – a clear benefit for consumers.

  • For a brand, cookies interpret how a visitor will navigate your site. It offers you insights for updates/improvements.

  • It helps advertisers follow you around the web (much more than you realize).

But, cookies don’t always do their job. According to Nielsen, marketers say 35% of the demographic targeting they base on third-party cookies is inaccurate. How many times have you been shown a product you have already purchased? This happens to me all the time.

On top of their unreliability, the passing of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), and similar laws are impacting how cookies will be used. Frustratingly, according to research from Epsilon, 80% of consumers say they are more likely to do business with brands with personal and premium experiences.

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So, how can companies leverage podcasts to offer personal and premium experiences without data capture through cookies?

1)  Podcasts build trust

Cookies are used, in theory, to build a better experience. This builds trust in the brand. But with the absence of cookies, trust has to be built another way.

In 2021’s Edelman Trust Barometer, which launched in January, business has emerged as the most trusted global institution.

The annual survey asked respondents how much it trusted various institutions. Business was the most trusted at 61%, ahead of NGOs (57%), government (53%) and the media (51%). Business was the only institution considered to be both ethical and competent.

As we outlined in a previous article, the public expects business to restore trust and tackle the important issues. We know that podcasts can play a role in restoring trust and tackling social issues. There are five ways that businesses can use podcasts to respond to this urgent call for action:

  1. Use your podcast to embrace authentic purpose

  2. (If done well) leaders can use podcasts for transformational change within their organizations

  3. Use your podcast to tackle disinformation

  4. Create a podcast that is audience focused and delivers value


2) Produce great podcast content

Engaging content can capture interest at every stage. Podcasts are a permission-based medium that builds an audience that you can own. Create content that is helpful, engaging, entertaining, and informative and your audience will grow. Create a podcast that is authentic and hyper-focused on your audience so you aren’t reliant on cookies and programmatic advertising.

Ask yourself:

  • What does our audience care about?

  • What does our audience need?

  • How are we most qualified to deliver that need?

Then create your podcast around that.

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3)  Double down on first-party data

Consolidate the information collected through data across sources, into a single, accurate representation of each customer. This will help create relevant and responsive experiences that deepen customer relationships. Also, consider doubling down on first-party data and search intelligence to build qualified audiences. When you create a branded podcast you are creating an owned media channel that feeds off of 1st party data. Instead of relying on renting someone else’s audience (like Facebook, Google, and a rang of programatic options) you own the channel, the audience, and the data that goes with it. Slowly back away from the JAR of 3rd-party cookies.

4) Re-use your content

Don’t just post an episode and walk away. Use the content in other channels. Slice and dice up the episode to offer your audience morsels of knowledge and value. For example, offer quotes or audio clips in your newsletter, on your website, and through your social channels. Encourage your audience to listen to the full podcast by enticing them with value-packed content.

Want to wean off cookies with a podcast? Learn more about JAR’s services or jump right in and request a quote.

Roger Nairn is Co-Founder and CEO of JAR Audio