The Duopoly is over (as a result of The whole lot is an Advert Community)


Axios stories that Google and Meta — identified together because the digital promoting “Duopoly” — are anticipated to seize lower than half of US digital promoting income in 2022 for the primary time since 2014. In response to Axios, Insider Intelligence estimates that Google and Meta will account for 48.4% of all U.S. digital advert income this yr, which is down from a peak of 54.7% in 2017. These value determinations point out that Meta’s share stays flat at roughly 20% over that timeline whereas Google’s share decreases from 35% in 2017 to twenty-eight% in 2021, albeit towards the backdrop of serious market development.

The Duopoly was as soon as seen as unassailable: in Fb and Google personal our eyeballs, printed in 2016, I write:

And so these two corporations have appropriated our time on cellular. However maybe extra fascinating than capturing a really wholesome majority of engagement is the truth that they’ve elbowed out virtually each different participant within the digital advertising ecosystem (of which cellular is now a majority — cellular promoting surpassed desktop online advertising in 2016, in line with the IAB and PwC) to the purpose the place the 2 corporations owned 89% of income development in 2016, once more in line with the IAB.

However lately, a diversified digital promoting market has flourished, and Amazon’s development right into a scaled challenger to Google specifically has been evident for the previous few years. Again in 2018, I proposed that Amazon would possibly disrupt the Duopoly; in 2019, I deemed the promoting market to be dominated by the triumvirate of Google, Meta (then, Fb), and Amazon. This eventuality was clearly obvious then, and it’s manifest now throughout a recent crop of latest market entrants.

The contenders for digital promoting {dollars} are quite a few: Amazon is the obvious, reporting $31BN in promoting income in 2021, however others, equivalent to Apple with the expansion of its advert community and the varied retail media networks which have proliferated within the wake of Apple’s App Monitoring Transparency (ATT) privateness coverage, are ascendant.

I try and encapsulate the market dynamic driving the expansion of retail media networks with the slogan The whole lot is an Advert Community. The logic underlying The whole lot is an Advert Community is that ATT disrupted the established order that beforehand led most advertisers to social media platforms, and numerous advert networks have emerged out of retail companies to monetize their very own first-party information as social media promoting effectivity has degraded. From Why is The whole lot an Advert Community?:

Social platforms can not ingest the totality of digital artifacts emitted by customers as they traverse throughout apps and web sites. On this new privateness panorama, one of the best place for some advertisers to deploy price range could also be contextually-relevant retail or eCommerce properties that possess first-party, user-level buy historical past information throughout the product classes most related to their very own.

The Duopoly period appears to have ended now that Google and Meta seize lower than 50% of the US digital promoting market. Given the astonishing development of Amazon, TikTok, and varied retail media networks — together with these which launched this yr, equivalent to Netflix’s — it’s affordable to characterize the digital promoting market in 2022 as being materially extra aggressive than it was in 2016 or 2017. The Duopoly depiction is tenuous with Google and Meta seeing a mixed minority share.

Nonetheless, even when the Duopoly has been eroded by new and ascendant market members, Google’s and Meta’s positions because the #1 and #2 advert channels by income are probably safe for the foreseeable future.

As a way to attain Google’s 2021 income ranges by the yr 2026, Amazon would want to develop from its 2021 income baseline by an astonishing 46% CAGR; Apple and TikTok would every must develop by 121% CAGR. And whereas eMarketer does forecast spectacular year-over-year development from 2022 to 2023 for every of those channels — 36% for TikTok, 26% for Apple, and 19% for Amazon — these platforms will lag Google and Meta for the foreseeable future, barring some dramatic market upheaval (as an example: at a relentless 19% yearly development price, it might take TikTok 36 years to develop its estimated $4BN in revenues final yr to parity with Google’s 2021 advert income).

Header picture modified from a photograph by Florian Schmetz on Unsplash

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