Google dominates but Facebook grabs a growing share of mobile ads

It’s no longer news that Facebook’s mobile advertising business is doing quite well. But when it comes to mobile advertising, some new projections from the research firm eMarketer might leave folks at Google asking themselves, “Is this glass half-full or . . . ?”

Both companies have had their challenges with the shift to mobile computing. Facebook, which started last year with virtually no mobile ad business, has recently reported tremendous growth. Google already had a big slice of the pie, but it has still been dogged by uncertainty among some advertisers about whether mobile ads are cost-effective.

The new report from eMarketer shows both companies are likely to increase their share of overall mobile ad spending, as advertisers place their bets on the industry leaders.

Google, which already had 52 percent of the mobile ad market, will increase its share to 53 percent of an estimated total of $16.6 billion that will be spend worldwide on mobile ads this year, according to eMarketer.

But Facebook is growing faster from a smaller base. Analysts at eMarketer say the social network had about 5 percent of the mobile ad business last year and is on track to increase its share to 15.8 percent in 2013. (Facebook is doing so well that the research firm is revising its estimate up from an earlier projection of 12.9 percent.)

The research firm adds:

“Both Facebook and Google are now the top ad publishers not only for mobile, but for all digital as well—with an even stronger lead on the competition.”

Analysts at eMarketer estimate Google will take in $38.6 billion in digital ad revenue this year, or about 33 percent of the global market. Facebook is projected to $6.4 billion, or 5.4 percent of the market.

Yahoo will see its share of global Internet ad spending decline from 3.4 percent in 2012 to just under 3 percent this year, according to eMarketer, while Microsoft’s share will remain about constant.

(Graphic from eMarketer)

Brandon Bailey Brandon Bailey (338 Posts)

Brandon Bailey covers Google, Facebook and Yahoo for the San Jose Mercury News, reporting on the business and culture of the Internet.