German publishers have been hit hard by Mozilla Firefox’s latest anti-tracking update, which blocks third-party cookies by default for all the browser’s users.
Publishers have experienced a detrimental drop in programmatic ad revenues since the changes three weeks ago. Axel Springer is among those to have seen a drop, but the issue is marketwide, according to media sources. Average revenue rate drops have been up to 15%, according to publisher sources. But average bid rates, which is how frequently buyers choose to bid on a piece of inventory, are down almost 40% on Firefox in Germany, according to ad exchange Index Exchange. Meanwhile, the average price of Firefox inventory has dropped between 15% and 25% in Germany.
The Enhanced Tracking Changes, rolled out Sept. 3, are Mozilla’s equivalent to Apple’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention for Safari, which have made it impossible for publishers to monetize ads programmatically on Safari. While U.K. and U.S. publishers have seen a negligible effect from the Firefox changes, Germany has a far greater number of Firefox users, estimated by industry sources between 20% and 30%.
“This is a big concern for publishers marketwide in Germany,” said Mike O’Sullivan, vp of product, identity and data for Index Exchange. “This is inventory that was previously addressable, that has gone dark overnight, so it was a much more stark change than the latest Safari updates given that that inventory has been in the dark for years,” he added.