The big news in the latest numbers on US digital advertising
revenues is that
) has climbed to the number two spot, and is expected to end the
year with a 7.4% share of the total, according to research firm
Nice work. But though the juggling for the number two spot is
) is still so far ahead that the rest of the contenders look like
Lilliputians who will never be able to bring down the big guy.
Google will reach the end of this year with 39.9% of the $42.6
billion digital ad market, according to eMarketer's projections.
Google is projected to grow, if slowly, to 40.8% in 2014, and
42.3% in 2015.
As for Facebook, it grew from 5.9% in 2012 to a projected 7.4%
this year, and is expected to grow to 8.2% in 2014 and 9.0% in
Its nearest competitors are
), running at 5.9%, and
), which fell to fourth place with 5.5%.
That leaves Yahoo, which long held the second slot, looking like
a loser in a year during which all of the major
advertiser-supported sites are being scrutinized for their
ability to transition successfully to mobile advertising.
Facebook proved its ability to sell mobile advertising to Wall
Street's satisfaction this year, with two successive quarters of
strong sales that took its mobile ad share from zero to 49% of
its total ad revenues, which came to more than $2 billion in the
Those mobile growth numbers have been a big factor in the steady
climb of the company's stock price from a 52-week low of under
$23 to its current price of about $55.
The question is how much more advertising Facebook can throw at
its audience without seriously alienating them.
Facebook now enables marketers to target advertising to users
based on their real-world purchases, their visits to other
websites, and their demographics.
It is positioning advertising in the center "news feed" column as
well as along the right column. Almost any visit to another
website results in an ad for that site popping up in your
Facebook feed, whether you "like" it or not.
And now, it's experimenting with adding video advertising to the
mix. This week, it started a limited test run, presenting a movie
trailer to some of its users.
The company seems to be wary of users' reactions. The ads are
"auto-play" but silent, unless the user taps on the video, and
the length of the videos is capped at 15 seconds.
There's a lot of revenue at stake.
According to Forbes.com
, advertisers will be charged up to $2 million a day for a video
ad that reaches the 18- to 54-year-old demographic.
Oddly, Facebook may be in a nearly unique position to annoy its
users with advertising. On Google, ads are directly related to a
specific search, and therefore are not as much of an intrusion as
they are a valid response to a query. On Yahoo's news pages, they
may be perceived as a reasonable trade-off for free media. On
Facebook, they risk being an interruption and a nuisance. Below
is a typical Newsfeed ad, or "suggested post."
) also has its work cut out for it, as it tries to build an
advertising platform from scratch. For 2013, eMarketer estimates
that it will reach a 1% share, or about $420 million in ad
revenue, up from 0.6% a year ago.
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