Google and Facebook remain the clear leaders in digital ad spend, but smaller players like Instagram (owned by Facebook) and Snapchat are gaining momentum.
This is according to the latest report from eMarketer, which estimates that the ‘Big G' and ‘FB’ will capture a combined 56.8% of US digital ad investment in 2018 - down from 58.5% in 2017.
As you can see, while both companies are at no risk of losing their market dominance, eMarketer predicts both will lose some momentum going forward.
The beneficiaries of that slowdown will be Amazon:
“Amazon is slowly but surely chipping away at its larger advertising rivals. This year, its US ad revenues will climb 63.5% to surpass $2 billion for the first time.”
Instagram (which, as noted, is included within Facebook’s results, but for context):
“In 2018, Facebook-owned Instagram will pull in $5.48 billion in ad revenues, accounting for more than 5% of the US digital ad market. Instagram’s share of mobile ad earnings will reach 7.3%, and it will also account for more than a quarter (28.2%) of Facebook’s US mobile revenues this year.”
And most interestingly, Snapchat:
“Snapchat’s US ad revenues will jump 81.7% this year, topping $1 billion for the first time. That increase means it will garner a 1.0% share of US digital ad spending, up from 0.6% last year.”
For all the negative news stories around Snapchat, and Facebook’s various challenges to unseat it as king of the youth movement, the platform has remained resilient, and now looks set to boost its earnings potential. Of course, not even eMarketer knows for sure what the impacts of Snapchat’s recent redesign will have, but even so, projections are that Snapchat will become a more relevant consideration, and boost its opportunities.
eMarketer also predicts that Twitter will lose ground, but will gather solid footing again.
“Twitter will see its US ad earnings decline for the second consecutive year in 2018, falling by 4.9% to $1.12 billion. We expect Twitter to return to positive growth in 2019.”
From a marketers’ standpoint, the value of each platform is obviously relative to your unique audience, but it is interesting to note the wider trends, and to consider that some of the smaller players look set to eat into the dominance of Facebook and Google. Indeed, this goes back to the rising potential of more niche audiences – while Snapchat, Pinterest, Twitter and LinkedIn can’t compete with Facebook or Google on sheer size, they each do have their own specific, dedicated audiences, which they’re all now working in a more focused manner to facilitate.
Given this, the overall negative market comparisons to Facebook’s scale may soon be obsolete – it’s becoming less about whether you can reach the largest group of people with your messaging, and more about which platforms offer the most responsive audiences for your promotions.
That’s why Twitter's looking to air more unique video content (like lacrosse), and why Snapchat's not necessarily trying to branch into older demographics. Eventually, we may see the market perception shift away from large scale broadcasting, and more towards honing in on specific audiences – as this is what modern technology, and social platforms in particular, allow.