Report: Facebook and Google Are Losing Ad Dominance

A new report from eMarketer suggests that the Big 2 will experience dips in market share over the next few years.
According to a new eMarketer forecast, the Big 2, that is the top two companies in terms of digital advertising revenue, Google and Facebook, are expected to lose market share by 2021.

The duopoly enjoyed a combined share of U.S. digital ad spending of 58.5 percent in 2017, but this is anticipated to fall to 56.8 percent over the course of this year, translating into a nearly two percent loss. By 2020, this will drop an additional point and a half to 55.3 percent.

That said, eMarketer analysts anticipate a rebound beginning sometime in 2020. And beyond that, while their dominance will slightly decrease, both platforms are expecting to see significant revenue increases over the next several years.

Image via MediaPost

The declines are not a function of an overall decrease in digital ad spend; conversely, overall spending will hit $107 billion in 2018, reflecting a 19 percent increase Instead, The Wall Street Journal points to rivals like Amazon and Snapchat as the main reason, suggesting that advertisers are increasingly testing platforms outside of the Big 2 in their efforts.

What has not been factored into this estimate is marketers’ growing wariness toward the Big 2 with regards to brand safety and an increasingly alarming public perception that these properties have amassed too much power with little regulation from outside forces. These concerns have already made a financial impact on tech stocks as of late.

Following widespread public outcry in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook shares fell 8 percent in a single day. The news has sparked a far-reaching conversation about Facebook’s ability to monetize user data—and do so in a seemingly unfettered fashion.

Users have also taken to Twitter to announce their plans to #deletefacebook. One significant member of the movement has been WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton. WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook in 2014 for $16 billion.

Google, and more specifically its video behemoth YouTube, are also on shaky terms with leading advertisers. With leading brands threatening to reduce spend on the platform, YouTube has had to revise and bolster its approach to brand safety.

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Tv Ad Spend Flat until 2021

Cord-cutting is accelerating at faster-than-expected rates across the United States, according to a new study by digital analytics firm eMarketer, which notes that, as a result, television ad spending is expected to remain relatively flat over the next five years. In 2017, for instance, TV ad spend is expected to grow just 0.5% to a less-than-projected $71.65 billion.

The depleted spend will be driven by a continued migration of pay TV subscribers to OTT platforms — a number of Americans that eMarketer says is growing at a substantially speedier rate than initially expected. By 2021, for instance, total pay TV viewership is expected to fall by roughly 10%. And this year, there will be a total of 22.2 million cord-cutters aged 18 and over — up 33% from last year. Meanwhile, there are 196.3 million U.S. adults who watch pay TV, down 2.4% from 2016.

Check out a chart illuminating these changing tides — courtesy of eMarketer — below:

“Last year, even the Olympics and presidential elections could not prevent younger audiences from abandoning pay TV,” said eMarketer senior forecasting analyst Chris Bendtsen in a statement. That said, TV viewership among adults aged 55 and up will continue to rise — though that’s the only demographic where this is the case.

eMarketer also attributes the reduction in TV viewing to a slew of new skinny bundle service launches from the likes of Hulu and YouTube — and existing players like Dish’s Sling TV — as well as standalone subscription services from individual TV networks like HBO and ESPN.

Average daily TV watch-time among U.S. adults is also expected to drop 3.1% — to 3 hours and 58 minutes — this year, according to eMarketer, while digital video consumption is expected to rise 9.3% to 1 hour and 17 minutes.

Gen Z increasingly turning away from text-based online content and traditional TV

Younger Internet users (ages 13 to 17) are moving away from text-based online content and TV, while spending more time on video and social.

According to a recent report in eMarketer, although millennials (ages 18 -34) spend more time with video and social, unlike their younger counterparts, they report that they are not cutting back on their time with other media.

Although Gen Z and millennial groups agree they are spending more time streaming full-length TV shows and movies, they are also watching more short online video. Gen Z is watching 35% less TV, with 22% saying they pend less time with blogs compared to a year ago. Further, 11% said they are spending less time with publisher sites or apps.

Emarketer reports this trend from a survey by market research agency Leflein Associates who polled 1,173 US internet users ages 13 to 34.

While the older age users (ages 18 to 34) were more likely to say they were watching more TV, among the younger group, 40% said they were watching the same amount of TV as last year, while 35% said they were watching at least a bit less.

According to Nielsen data for Q4 2016, US teens age 12 to 17 spend 13 hours, 54 minutes per week watching TV.

Native display ads to spike by a third in 2017

Native digital display ad spending in the US will grow 36.2% this year to reach $22.09 billion, according to eMarketer’s inaugural forecast.

For the first time this year, native ad spending will make up more than half (52.9%) of all display ad spending in the US, the firm said.

“Growth of native digital display is being driven by publishers’ pursuit of higher-value and more mobile-friendly inventory, as well as by advertisers’ demands for more engaging, less intrusive ads,” said eMarketer principal analyst Lauren Fisher.

An overwhelming portion of US native display ad spending goes to social networks, driven mainly by Facebook. This year, native social network display ad spending will reach $18.59 billion, representing 84.2% of all US native display. Importantly, social’s share of native is falling and will drop to 82.2% next year, as non-social (specifically in-feed and sponsored content) grows faster.

“We’re seeing a huge ramp up in non-social publishers adopting in-feed ads and video,” Fisher said. “This, coupled with continued advancements on the programmatic native front, will accelerate non-social native ad spending.”

Since native advertising is largely purchased on social platforms, it’s also almost entirely mobile. Native mobile display ad spending will reach $19.50 billion this year, representing 88.3% of all native advertising – with that share growing. And native mobile will represent 64.5% of all US mobile display ad spending this year.

“Greater demand for native formats such as in-app rewarded video ads, and greater momentum around redesigning the mobile experience for a more in-feed and mobile-first world will also draw greater ad dollars to native inventory on mobile devices,” said Fisher.

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Nearly half of young millennials use ad blockers

The adoption of ad blockers by millennials could continue to be an obstacle for advertisers targeting young people, according an eMarketer’s forecast.

To put things in perspective, overall, usage of ad blockers in the US will grow 16.2% this year to 75.11 million users. That’s slightly lower than the 85 million forecast in June. So while overall usage is not yet widespread, eMarketer found that 36.68 million millennials (41.1% of those born between 1981 and 2000) will browse the Internet on a device that has an ad blocker enabled.

Within that generation, 18-24-year-olds are the heaviest users of ad blockers; 49.9% of them will use one (or 51% of Internet users within that age group). In the early days of ad blocking, penetration rates among 18-24-year-olds and 25-34-year-olds were similar. However, the gap is widening as the younger group adopts them in greater numbers.

“Millennials are more likely to have an ad blocker enabled than those in any other demographic group,” said eMarketer forecasting analyst Shelleen Shum. “Those in this group are more tech savvy than older adults, more willing to adopt new technology and tend to spend more time on the internet browsing and watching videos.”

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