Apr 30, 2024 - Business

Strong Q1 ad recovery boosts Big Tech

U.S. internet advertising revenue concentration
Data: IAB; Chart: Thomas Oide/Axios

While legacy media companies are expected to report marginal improvements to their ad businesses during earnings this week, the vast majority of growth in the sector is increasingly being propelled by Big Tech.

  • Meta, Snap, Google, Spotify and Roku all beat investor expectations on top and bottom lines last quarter. (Shares in Meta and Roku fell after hours, mostly due to weak forecasts related to expenditures.)
  • Paramount yesterday reported significant year-over-year improvements to its ad business, largely thanks to streaming and the Super Bowl on CBS.
  • TelevisaUnivision's ad revenue remained flat in the U.S. but grew 7% year-over-year globally thanks to strong momentum in Mexico, where linear TV isn't declining as quickly.

Why it matters: Although Google's and Meta's ad dominance is shrinking relative to the rest of the sector, the rise of retail media players like Amazon, Walmart and Instacart is concentrating the ad market even more among the biggest companies.

  • According to new figures from the Interactive Advertising Bureau, the top 25 biggest ad publishers significantly increased their market share in the U.S. from 83.7% in 2019 to 87.6% in 2023.

🛒 What to watch: The marriage between retailers and media platforms will usher in more consolidation in the ad market among top firms, if regulators allow it.

  • Walmart/Vizio: Walmart agreed to acquire smart TV maker Vizio for $2.3 billion. Vizio said today that the Federal Trade Commission issued a second request from it and Walmart about their deal, a sign that the agency has some more questions about the antitrust impact.
  • Best Buy/CNET: Best Buy and CNET announced last week they're teaming up to create a new retail media network.

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