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Microsoft to Surpass Yahoo in Global Digital Ad Market Share This Year

Google, Facebook continue on as the market's leaders

Yahoo’s push to maintain its position as a top global ad seller will take another hit in 2014, according to new projections from eMarketer. Though Yahoo’s ad revenues will be back in the black this year, increasing its global digital ad revenues by 2.7% after a decline of 2.1% in 2013 to reach $3.53 billion, the company’s share of the $140.15 billion digital advertising market will fall from 2.86% to 2.52%. At the same time, Microsoft will grow its net worldwide ad revenues by more than 20% over 2013 to reach $3.56 billion, eMarketer estimates, accounting for 2.54% of the market—just enough to surpass Yahoo for the first time.

Google will continue to dominate the global digital ad market this year, netting 31.45% of digital dollars invested by advertisers worldwide. The search giant will actually lose market share in 2014—falling nearly half a percentage point—however, its share loss is not necessarily a reflection of the company’s waning influence so much as a sign of its maturing ad business in comparison to competitors. Google will still increase its net digital ad revenues 15.0% this year to reach $44.08 billion globally, eMarketer estimates, while the market grows slightly faster at 16.7%.

Facebook and Twitter are making the biggest market share moves this year, and Facebook will increase its share from 5.82% in 2013 to 7.79% in 2014—by far the largest among the US-based companies included in our forecast. Twitter will see the next largest growth in market share among these companies, reaching 0.79%—up from 0.50% in 2013—by nearly doubling its net ad revenues year over year.

Both companies are benefiting from their users’ shifting behaviors on mobile devices. Facebook is expected to take 22.3% of the $32.71 billion global mobile advertising market this year, up from 17.8% in 2013. Twitter will continue its ascent in the mobile ad world as well, growing from 2.4% last year to 2.8% in 2014. Due to its continued success in search advertising, Google will maintain control of more than half of mobile advertising dollars worldwide, despite losing a small amount of share year over year.

Mobile ad revenue estimates for Yelp and Amazon.com are new in this quarterly forecast. Though projected to take small shares this year—0.4% and 0.3%, respectively, or approximately $100 million in mobile ad revenues each—both companies are on positive trajectories, while other leading mobile ad sellers YP, Pandora and Millennial Media will continue to lose share.

eMarketer estimates digital ad revenues at major publishers on a net basis, that is, after accounting for traffic acquisition costs and other potential sources of double-counting.

eMarketer bases all of its forecasts on a multipronged approach that focuses on both worldwide and local trends in the economy, technology and population, along with company-, product-, country- and demographic-specific trends, and trends in specific consumer behaviors. We analyze quantitative and qualitative data from a variety of research firms, government agencies, media outlets and company reports, weighting each piece of information based on methodology and soundness.

In addition, every element of each eMarketer forecast fits within the larger matrix of all of its forecasts, with the same assumptions and general framework used to project figures in a wide variety of areas. Regular re-evaluation of each forecast means those assumptions and framework are constantly updated to reflect new market developments and other trends.

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