Even in Video, the Digital Duopoly Rules

Facebook and Google command most of the money now being funneled toward video advertising

There’s no doubt that content publishers are struggling with the ongoing dominance of the digital advertising ecosystem by Google and Facebook. And while the embrace of video content—and the higher ad revenues expected to attend the format—was bandied as a possible solution to their problem, the reality is that the duopoly has extended its dominion well into the realm of digital video.

New figures from Brand Innovators and Innovid underscore just how pervasive Google and Facebook are in the realm of video. According to the firms' September survey, US senior marketers estimated that Facebook and Google’s YouTube together command 66.1% of digital video ad spending.

Respondents said that one-quarter of outlays are targeted toward mobile platforms, while over-the-top (OTT) services command 9.1% of digital video ad dollars.

Overall, eMarketer expects that video will account for about one-third of US display ad spending over the coming years. Our projections put the figure at 31.7% in 2017, with slight growth to 32.9% by 2021.

Both Facebook and Google seem intent on attempting to maintain their hegemony on digital video advertising. According to a recent report in Digiday, Facebook has been testing pre-roll ads on Facebook Watch, its platform for shows that was launched in August. Watch already features mid-roll ads that are delivered programmatically.

And last week media outlets reported that YouTube was testing a new feature called Reels that appears to be modeled after Snapchat's Stories, which itself was very successfully mimicked by Facebook-owned Instagram.

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