The Duopoly of Facebook and Google

Facebook and Google — two names that most in the world have heard. One has become so common it’s been transformed into a verb, don’t know which one it is — “just google it.” Not only have these two companies become a part of society’s daily routine, but, combined, they managed to take control of 20% of adspend in 2016 — up from just 11% in 2012.

According to the new edition of Zenith’s Top Thirty Global Media Owners, these two companies captured 64% of all the growth in global adspend between 2012 and 2016.

The Top Thirty Global Media Owners report is Zenith’s unique ranking of the world’s largest media companies, and has been published since 2007. For this edition Zenith decided to update thier methodology and focus purely on media owners’ revenues from advertising, excluding revenues from all other activities, which aims to give the true measure of status in the global advertising market.

Google grabbed the number one spot by a landslide. The company, which was listed in the report under its holding company, Alphabet, attracted $79.4 billion in ad revenue in 2016, three times more than the second-largest — Facebook — which attracted US$26.9 billion.

Additionally, internet advertising has overtaken television to become the world’s largest advertising medium this year, and digital platforms that are funded by internet advertising dominate Zenith’s top 30 ranking.

The fastest-growing media owner on the list (found below) is Twitter, which increased its ad revenues by 734% between 2012 and 2016. Tencent is second, having grown by 697% over this period, and Facebook is third, with 528% growth. Two other media owners have more than doubled in size between 2012 and 2016: Baidu, which grew 190%, and Sinclair Broadcast Group, which grew 171%.

Most of the media owners in the ranking ranking — 20 out of 30 — are based in the US, which, according to Zenith, dominates for several reasons: the US has the biggest ad market, US companies have invested the most in extending their reach abroad, and Silicon Valley innovation has powered the growth of internet advertising.

“The scale of the biggest platforms highlights the importance of building strong partnerships between agencies and media owners,” said Vittorio Bonori, Zenith’s Global Brand President. “Brands need to deal with these platforms to communicate with consumers effectively and efficiently, and agencies need to ensure they do so on the best terms available.”