Are Google And Facebook Too Big Not To Be Broken Up?

Sometimes you just need to see the global figures to get an idea of just how massive internet advertising has become -- and  more to the point, the huge power of the duopoly of Google and Facebook.

Today we have figures from Warc which show that for the first time ever, internet advertising is tipping the scales at just over half of all advertising spend (50.9%). If you want to know when the world pivoted to digital advertising, it would appear this year will be the answer.

As for the duopoly, just as was the case last year, the two tech giants account for more advertising dollars between them than the entire global television market. 

Drill further down and we find that Google owner, Alphabet, accounts for 22% of all advertising dollars spent globally.

Online, it takes three in every four ad dollars spent on search globally and nearly accounts for a third of global video ad spend (29%) at YouTube.

As for Facebook, it is due to see revenues rise 19% this year, giving it a 12.6% share of global advertising. 

The fortunes of the duopoly are buoyed by internet advertising racing ahead with 13% growth forecast during 2020.

In fact, even traditional channels are expected to return to growth this year to the tune of 1.5%. That's the first time that traditional channels have seen growth since 2011, and it's being attributed largely to the US Presidential election year coinciding with the Olympics.

So, there you have it -- two companies account for 22% (Alphabet) and 12.6% (Facebook) of global advertising spend. That's more than a third. 

We can talk all we want about the two now overtaking television as a channel, and we can take our eye off the ball by slapping traditional channels on the back and saying well done on returning to growth for the first time in a decade.

The truth is that we have two companies that account for more than a third of all global advertising spending, and they don't even concern themselves with the half of the market devoted to traditional channels. 

You can't read that and not wonder how long it will be until the two companies -- Alphabet in particular -- are not required to be broken up or voluntarily spin out divisions into separately owned entities.

If you're only involved in one half of a market and yet combined, rake in more than one in three of the total ad dollars spent globally, that's a statistic you just can't ignore for too long. 

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