You may have missed this, but Google has quietly surpassed the top media companies to capture the largest share of ad spend in 2019, based on a report from MediaPost. The tech giant now captures 10.5 percent of all ad spend, which is up from third place and a 1.1 percent gain last year.
Meanwhile, Walt Disney Co., NBC Universal, and Fox Corporation all showed moderate to significant drops in their slice of the ad dollars pie, with NBC Universal suffering the biggest with 3.5 percent drop (this is likely due to the fact that NBC aired the 2018 Olympics). CBS, AT&T, Discovery, and Viacom all posted gains in ad spend, though their individual portions are all significantly lower than Google.
You might be scratching your head at this point, thinking, “Are that many people buying AdWords ads?” The answer is yes, but it’s so much more than that. Search ads (not just those served by Google) are expected to hit $95 billion this year. Of course, Google isn’t just search ads; it also earns revenue from a healthy digital display network, YouTube ads, and a variety of other channels.
Perhaps this isn’t that much of a surprise, given that digital media buys overtook traditional television ads last year for the first time and never looked back. Indeed, spending on digital channels is expected to outpace traditional television by as much as $40 billion.
While some might wonder whether or not Google can sustain this growth, perhaps a better question is what will media companies do to catch up? Of course, it’s really challenging to come up with a brand new ad unit, the way that search ads were when they were first introduced. And media companies aren’t exactly known for thinking outside the box.
However, one advantage that many media companies have is their ability to distribute a wider variety of content. And with innovations in OTT advertising (like those we’ve discussed many times in the past), media companies can likely more accurately target users than search or YouTube ads (though Google certainly uses user data and 3rd-party consumer data for targeting.)
For marketers, this simply means that it’s more important than ever to research and chose channels wisely, and to have a healthy media mix. There is no one single channel to reach all your customers, nor is there a single tool that will enable you to gather all the data needed to make informed media buys. Marketers need to be smarter than ever, shrewder than ever, and more willing to experiment than ever. One thing is sure: Doing the same old thing will most likely ensure you miss opportunities to reach your customers.
If you need help figuring out your media buys, we’ve got you covered. Contact us to start exploring how Capital Media can help you put together an effective marketing mix.