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After a sharp drop in 2014, net ad revenues worldwide at Microsoft rebounded in 2015 with a rise of 20.8% and this year, eMarketer expects, will climb a further 15.0% to reach nearly $3 billion—still below 2013 revenue levels, and about in line with what the company took in from ads as long ago as 2012.
Positive growth is helping Microsoft gain share of the worldwide search ad market, but slowly—and from a small base. In 2015, Microsoft—which will report Q1 earnings later this week—earned just 3.3% of net search ad revenues globally, up from 3.0% in 2014. This year, the company’s share will rise again, to 3.4%. Google, by comparison, will glean 55.2% of net worldwide search revenues this year, and Chinese search engine Baidu will take in 10.1%.
Positive growth also puts Microsoft in a different position from Yahoo, which is losing ad dollars annually and now makes just 1.6% of global search ad revenues.
In the US, which is the source of a majority of Microsoft’s search revenues, the company has a larger share of the total: 8.4% last year, putting Microsoft in second place after Google. And by 2018, Microsoft will enjoy 8.6% of net US search ad revenues.
In terms of overall US digital ad revenues, including from search, display and other formats, Microsoft comes in third, after Facebook, and will maintain that spot through 2018, holding just ahead of Yahoo throughout our forecast period.
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