Thursday 27 February 2020 1:24 pm

Facebook and Google ad revenue to surpass TV for first time

Brands are set to splash out more advertising dollars on tech titans Facebook and Google than the entire global TV sector this year, according to figures released today.

Advertising revenue for Facebook and Google parent company Alphabet is forecast to reach $231.9bn (£185bn) in 2020, according to industry body Warc.

Read more: Rivals ‘can’t compete’ with Google and Facebook on digital advertising, watchdog warns

TV ad spend is set to rise 2.5 per cent to hit 29.2 per cent of all global spend, driven largely by growth in the US, where just over $4bn will be splashed out on presidential campaigns.

Yet the TV total of $192.6bn remains behind annual ad revenue for the so-called duopoly, and marks the first time the tech giants have pulled ahead.

Overall, global advertising spend is set to rise 7.1 per cent to $600bn, thanks to 13.2 per cent growth in online campaigns. Together, Facebook and Alphabet are set to take 35 cents in every ad dollar.

“Internet ad growth has been far stronger than the state of the global economy would suggest, rising seven times faster on average since 2015,” said James McDonald, managing editor at Warc.

“But, regulation aside, online platforms are bound by the law of large numbers, and revenue growth is easing for key players like Alphabet and Facebook.”

While the tech giants are building up their dominance, the figures showed traditional media are expected to record growth of 1.5 per cent to $324.2bn — the first rise since 2011.

Read more: Tech giants set to spend £25bn on advertising this year

This growth will likely be boosted by TV’s return to growth, helped largely by the US presidential election campaigns and the summer Olympic Games in Tokyo.

However, Warc said the figures did not include the potential impact of the coronavirus outbreak, warning of a “notable impact” if events such as the Olympics and Euro 2020 tournament were postponed or cancelled.

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