The Google/Facebook Stranglehold on Ad Dollars Might Be Slipping

Is the Google/Facebook duopoly over? Hardly, but research company eMarketer has some good news for publishers straining to get a few online ad dollars: The percentage of the ad market that Google and Facebook take slipped a few notches in the last year, and the trend will continue.

Google/FacebookIn 2016, Google/Facebook took in 58.5 percent of all U.S. online ad sales. In 2017, that number slipped to 56.8 percent. In the coming year, the two companies’ share of new digital ad dollars (their share of the increased spending over the year before) will fall to 48 percent. Not bad considering that they captured 73 percent of all new spending in 2016.

The reason for the decline is that ad sales for smaller players, such as Amazon and Snapchat, are growing at a faster rate than experts predicted.

Facebook will bank $21.0 billion in U.S. ad revenues this year, which is 19.6 percent of the online ad market. That’s a decline from 19.9 percent in 2017. While ad sales for Facebook have slowed, Instagram is picking up. eMarketer senior forecasting director Monica Peart says it “will quickly become the engine that drives growth for a while.”

Google will take in $39.2 billion this year for 37 percent of the market. It will be the dominant player for years to come, but it had 38.6 percent of the market last year.

Of the upstart competitors, Amazon will take in more than $2 billion of the U.S. online ad market this year, a first for the company, which is good for 2.7 percent of the market. That will increase to 4.5 percent in 2020, eMarketer predicts. Snapchat will grab 1 percent of the market this year (also a first). Twitter will see a decline in its market share for the second year in a row, but eMarketer believes it will start growing again in 2019.


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