- Google and Facebook's worldwide share of the online advertising market will grow to 61.4% this year, reaching $176 billion, according to a report from international marketing intelligence service WARC shared with Marketing Dive. The growth is driving out other online media owners, with the available ad money in decline, dropping 0.7% to $111 billion.
- WARC predicts Amazon will make $13.9 billion from advertising this year compared to Google's $107.4 billion, but Amazon's ad business is also growing faster than Google's. This year, 69% of marketers plan to increase their ad investments with Amazon. Amazon is also beating Google on voice, as its Echo devices are used by 63% of American smart speaker owners compared to 26% who use Google Home devices.
- Facebook's app Instagram has grown in popularity and has a net budget increase of 67% compared to 63% for Amazon, 60% for YouTube and 13% for Facebook. Instagram is now the main driver of growth for Facebook, and WARC estimates that 15 million U.S. users have left Facebook's core platform since 2017.
The WARC report is the latest to underpin how the digital duopoly of Facebook and Google poses a threat to other online media by snapping up the vast majority of businesses' investments in advertising. Marketers see the platforms as particularly effective for search and social campaigns, which help them deliver on key performance metrics like ROI. Google dominates the search market, handling nearly all mobile searches worldwide and nine out of 10 on desktop, according to WARC. Facebook, for its part, has a vast network of global users across apps like its namesake platform, Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp.
At the same time, WARC also notes that Amazon is quickly gaining ground as a third major player in digital advertising. The online retailing giant's ad business is forecast by eMarketer to grow more than 50% this year in the U.S, commanding 8.8% of the total market. The combined U.S. share for Facebook and Google is expected by eMarketer to decline for the first time in 2019, with Google's share dropping to 37.2% and Facebook's to 22.1%.
WARC additionally makes clear that Amazon is dominating the voice space, which could be crucial as marketers allocate more of their spending toward audio and voice-ready channels like smart speaker devices. Forrester projects that a significant amount of search ad budgets will shift to voice assistants like Amazon's Alexa in the near future, and that voice technology will be mainstream in five years. Some traditional search budgets have already started to flow away from Google toward Amazon, especially in lower-priced, low-consideration categories that value the ability to be linked closer to the point of sale, like packaged goods.
Amazon also has the benefit of being seen as more trustworthy than its competitors, especially in regards to how it handles user data. Facebook, as a point of contrast, has been deliberately working to rebuild its reputation and the trust of users following myriad data privacy scandals, including Cambridge Analytica. The company has faced mounting regulatory scrutiny and is in the midst of several investigations, including a federal criminal probe in the U.S. into how it offered deep access to user data to certain device makers.
Facebook spent $1.1 billion on global advertising last year following Cambridge Analytica, according to WARC. The company is now plotting a controversial pivot to completely integrate Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger on the back end to center its business around private, encrypted communications, which could seriously affect how its advertising business operates.