Jun 14, 2022 - Economy

5 tech giants own over half the global ad market

Top 25 global advertisers by revenue
Data: GroupM; Chart: Simran Parwani/Axios

Five of the world's largest tech companies owned more than half (53%) of all global ad revenues last year, up from 46% last year.

Why it matters: Macroeconomic factors like inflation and rising wages are making it harder for new entrants to disrupt the ad market, analysts explain in the latest midyear ad forecast from GroupM.

  • The world's top 25 advertisers now account for 74% of global advertising spend, up from 68% last year and just 43% in 2016.
  • While Chinese companies continue to grow their portion of the ad market, they are mostly focused on capturing domestic dollars, with TikTok being the notable exception.

The big picture: Ten years ago, the top five advertisers were mostly U.S. media companies: Google, Viacom and CBS, News Corp and Fox, Comcast and Disney.

  • At the time, they only took up 20% of the global ad market, per the report.
  • While digital has made the ad market more accessible to a wider array of companies than ever, it's also grown the pie significantly in favor of very large firms.

What's next: The global ad market is expected to grow by 8.4% this year (excluding U.S. political advertising), a slightly lower forecast than what experts initially predicted for 2022.

Yes, but: Publishers shouldn't panic. It's a "deceleration, not a decline," said Brian Wieser, global president of business intelligence at GroupM.

  • "Recession shouldn’t be the base case for what to expect here."
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