What do the Apple and Google changes mean for 3rd party attribution providers?

Within a span of 2 weeks, both Apple and Google have made announcements related to changes associated with the data they will cease revealing to 3rd parties, including measurement and attribution companies. These companies rely on Apple and Google passing various unique identifiers (not personally identifiable info) that these companies use to measure ad effectiveness across multiple media platforms. I agree with most that these changes further the walled garden initiatives by the big three (facebook, google and apple), all while capitalizing on the privacy debate that has engulfed Facebook. It’s a very convenient excuse for these big companies to their agenda.


Many analysts believe that there will be a backlash against google and apple for making it a harder for attribution providers from doing their job. In Apple’s case, they’re not necessarily making it harder for attribution companies, but rather easier for all sorts of companies to get the information they need directly from apple in a much easier way, which many fear could render 3rd party attribution providers useless. Many analysts argue¬†that marketers will fight for more neutrality and need/want 3rd party attribution providers even more.


While potentially true, one can try to fight the tidal wave that is now upon us. But smaller companies will continue to fight for scraps given the strategic advantages the bigger companies have. Some marketers will go with the “easy button” and consolidate media and measurement with the big guys. Others might be big enough to push back and advocate for 3rd party attribution tools.


I’m just not sure that fight can be won. It’s a game of surviving right now and figuring out how to out flank companies with market caps over $100 billion dollars. No small feat.