About 625 of the advertisers that formerly comprised Twitter’s top 1,000 were not spending on the platform as of late January, according to Pathmatics by Sensor Tower data.
Monthly ad revenue is estimated to have dropped by 60% between October and January 25 of this year, from about $127 million to slightly over $48 million, per the data, which was originally supplied to CNN.
Former advertisers not currently on the platform include Unilever, Coca-Cola, Jeep, Merck and Wells Fargo. Wells Fargo said it is still using Twitter to communicate with customers; the other advertisers haven’t commented.
Salesforce, Apple and ESPN are among a small group of advertisers that spent more in January than prior to Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter. But many of the remaining major advertisers have cut back, the data show. HBO, for example, decreased its Twitter ad spend from nearly $12 million in September to about $54,000 in January.
The ad revenue losses, caused by advertisers’ brand safety concerns as Musk has allowed Donald J. Trump and thousands of other previously banned users to return, changed account verification policies, and laid off content moderation staff, have persisted despite attempts to woo back advertisers.
Those have included having DoubleVerify and Integral Ad Science (IAS) quantify and analyze campaigns’ brand safety, and offering discount deals, such as “fire sale” package deals for the Super Bowl, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
Musk recently said that while he had to “save Twitter from bankruptcy” in the past few months, the company is “trending to breakeven if we keep at it.”
And this morning, speaking at the World Government Summit in Dubai, he said he is aiming to replace himself as CEO by the end of 2023, because the company “should be in a stable position” by that time. Musk had indicated in December that he would step down once he found a successor.
Meanwhile, Musk’s erratic behavior continues. The latest example: After a tweet during the Super Bowl by President Joe Biden generated 29 million impressions, while a tweet by Musk pulled only 9.1 million, Musk commanded Twitter engineers to address what he insisted must be a blocking or technical problem. The engineers ended up deploying a code that prioritizes and artificially boosts Musk’s tweets by a factor of 1,000, according to Platformer.
Platformer had previously reported that Musk fired one of Twitter’s two remaining principal engineers after the engineer suggested that Musk’s tweets are generating fewer impressions because people are not as interested in his comments.
What about the audience size and composition? If those haven't deteriorated as much as the ad pricing, is somebody getting a bargain?