Google and Facebook are by far the dominant players in the display ad space, together expected to command 30% of the overall market in 2012. And their substantial lead is set to become even greater, according to an eMarketer report that predicts the two will sell 37% of all display ads by the end of 2014.
Among the two, Google comes in slightly ahead with 15.4% of the market this year ($2.31 billion), compared to Facebook’s 14.4% ($2.16 billion). Yahoo, which once dominated the display ad market, is on the decline with 9.3% of the market ($1.39 billion).
Google and Facebook have been locked in contention for the top spot for the past few quarters, with IDC reporting Google in the top spot in the first quarter of 2011, but eMarketer saying Facebook came in first in revenues for the full year of 2011.
EMarketer notes that Google’s dominance in 2012 makes it the leader in three key areas of interactive advertising — search, display and mobile. The researchers attribute Google’s success to the continued strength of its ad network, video ads on YouTube and mobile display on AdMob. Additionally, the company has benefited because Facebook has faltered, with ad revenues on the social network coming in lower than expected.
Things look good for Google, but the forecast for the display market overall has been adjusted downward from eMarketer’s previous forecast. This reflects lower prices for display ads on networks and, says eMarketer, the reluctance of major brands to make “extra-large” buys in digital display. Still, the market is expected to grow 21.5% to $14.98 billion in 2012, from $12.33 billion last year.
Emarketer includes video advertising, as well as ads designed to display on smartphones and tablets, as part of display advertising. Among those sub-categories, video ads are growing the most quickly, rising 46.5% in 2012 from last year. Rich media is also growing faster than eMarketer earlier expected, due in part to its use on tablets and smartphones.