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Google and Facebook Tighten Grip on US Digital Ad Market

Duopoly to grab more than 60% of 2017 digital ad spend

September 21, 2017 | Media Buying

It’s no longer news to say that Google and Facebook dominate the US digital ad market. But this year that supremacy is exceeding expectations, according to eMarketer’s latest digital ad spending forecast.

The digital ad ecosystem’s so-called duopoly is now expected to rake in a combined 63.1% of US digital ad investment in 2017, up from eMarketer’s previous prediction that the duo’s total would reach 60.4% in 2017.

“Advertisers are increasingly demanding more granularity in targeting capabilities to reach consumers,” said Monica Peart, eMarketer’s senior director of forecasting. “Google and Facebook have positioned themselves at the front of this demand curve by being the ad publishers with some of the best-in-class targeting abilities in the digital ad market. With Facebook being able to provide targeting based upon consumer interests and Google capitalizing on where those consumers have been through searches, both companies ensure their lead among digital ad publishers.”

Google

This year, Google (including YouTube) will garner $35.00 billion in total digital ad dollars in the US, up 18.9% over last year. That expansion will push Google’s share of the US digital ad market to 42.2%, slightly higher than eMarketer had predicted in Q1.

Net US Digital Ad Revenues, by Company, 2016-2019 (billions)

In 2017, for the first time, mobile will represent more than half (54.0%) of Google’s total US ad revenue for the year, with ads served to smartphones and tablets up 28.6% year over year to $18.90 billion.

Facebook and Instagram

2017 will be the first year when Facebook captures more than one in five US digital ad dollars. The company’s total digital revenues in the US will grow 40.4% to $17.37 billion, pushing its share of the US digital ad business to 20.9%.

Moreover, Facebook will take in $15.28 billion in mobile ad revenues this year, equal to 88% of the company’s total ad business and enough to push Facebook’s share of the US mobile ad market to 26.8%.

Facebook-owned Instagram’s mobile revenues will grow 90.7% year over year to reach $3.08 billion in 2017. Its share of the US mobile ad market will reach 5.4%.

Snapchat

Snapchat’s US ad revenues will grow 115.0% this year to $642.5 million, but that’s a lower figure than the $770.1 million eMarketer predicted for the company in Q1. Overall, Snapchat will see a 1.1% share of the US mobile ad market in 2017—slightly below the 1.3% eMarketer predicted in Q1—and 0.8% of the US digital ad market overall. The US still accounts for a strong majority of ad revenue—83% this year—as Snapchat has been slow to add users in international markets.

Snapchat’s ad revenues are slowing despite the fact that, in August, eMarketer predicted that there will be more US teens on Snapchat this year than on Facebook or Instagram, after adjusting our Snapchat usage estimates higher. Many advertisers remain skeptical, but Snapchat’s ad products are tantalizing for some because of their creative capabilities and the social network’s youthful, highly engaged user base.

Twitter

Twitter’s total US ad revenue will drop this year by 10.8%, to $1.21 billion. Consequently, its share of the US digital ad market will fall to 1.5%, down from 1.9% last year.

This year, Twitter’s US mobile ad revenue will drop 10.3% to $1.08 billion. Consequently, Twitter’s share of the US mobile ad market will slip 1.8%, down from 2.6% last year.

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