Facebook and Google set to take 70% of UK online adverts

Google and Facebook are on track to take more than 70 per cent of the UK’s online display advertising market by 2020, new research suggests.

The two companies account for 53 per cent of the £4 billion online display advertising market in the UK, but will experience combined annual growth of on average 24 per cent year-on-year for the next four years.

The tech giants owe their growing dominance to digital advertising on mobile phones, with the devices expected to overtake television as the main media platform next year, according to OC&C Strategy Consultants.

In the next 12 months the amount of time spent each day watching content on mobile in the UK, at 3 hours 12 minutes, is expected to surpass time that people spend watching TV, at 3 hours 6 minutes.

Facebook and Google have two thirds of America’s £18.4 billion online display advert market and are expected to take four years to reach 71 per cent of the UK market, according to the study, which was based on interviews with 100 top chief marketing officers.

The findings are likely to raise concern among some advertisers, who are worried about Google using its dominance in display ads to squeeze out competitors.

There are also fears around Facebook, which has admitted to errors in measuring the performance of its advert campaigns.

Fergus Jarvis, a partner at OC&C, said that Facebook and Google offered advertisers a combination of precision and reach that was hard to ignore.

“Google and Facebook provide unique tools which allow marketers to reach and target customers in new and innovative ways. As these tools become more precise, and their audience continues to grow, chief marketing officers are increasingly seeing the benefit of highly measurable and targeted campaigns,” Mr Jarvis said.

To counter this dominance, traditional media companies needed to optimise how they use Facebook and Google and to better exploit their own ability to target adverts.

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