New data has revealed just how heavily Google owner Alphabet, Meta and Amazon dominate global advertising, with the tech giants together controlling half the ads outside China.
With global lockdowns putting a stop to in-store shopping during the pandemic brands found themselves heavily reliant on search engines and social media companies to reach customers. Alphabet, Facebook and Amazon have doubled their share of ad revenue in the past five years according to new data from GroupM.
“Smaller companies often feel like they only have a couple of choices where they spend their money in advertising,” Brian Wieser, the global president of business intelligence at GroupM, told City A.M.
“The overwhelming trend is the globalisation of the industry,” Wieser added, commenting on the dominance of global advertising by Big Tech companies. “The same three companies are the same biggest players in almost every country on Earth.”
Global advertising beat forecasts to grow by by 22.5 per cent this year. Digital ads accounted for 64.4 per cent of all advertising this year, up from 60.5 per cent in 2020 with the trio of tech giants in control of 80 to 90 per cent of the global online total.
GroupM estimates that Alphabet, Meta and Amazon now control more than 50 per cent of the advertising industry’s total output, up from closer to 40 per cent in 2019.
“Alphabet, Meta and Amazon account for a majority of advertising outside of China, and a much higher share of digital advertising, because their scale affords them the opportunity to manage campaigns with multiple suppliers,” Weiser explained.
In an effort to push back against the dominance of global tech companies Alphabet and Meta have both faced antitrust investigations in Europe.
Last month the UK’s competition watchdog called on Google, which is owned by parent company Alphabet, to update its proposals to remove third party cookies and other functionalities from its Chrome browser – a move which would have harmed smaller advertisers.
In an effort to help coordinate the global campaign to regulate big tech the CMA also organised a meeting for the antitrust leads of G7 countries in November.
Andrea Coscelli, the chief executive of the CMA said: “currently too much market power is concentrated in the hands of too few firms. Whether in online shopping, web searches or social media, companies like Apple, Google, Amazon and Facebook exert an unprecedented level of influence over our lives.”