The Mobile Ad Market Is Google, Facebook, and Everyone Else

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Source: Getty Images

Source: Getty Images

The mobile advertising industry is getting bigger every year — much, much bigger, according to research firm eMarketer. On Wednesday, eMarketer reported that the mobile ad market grew by 103 percent in 2013 to a total $17.96 billion and that this year to date, the market is on track to grow another 75.1 percent to $31.45 billion.

While an entire industry has evolved around mobile advertising, there are really just two companies that dominate the field: Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB). Combined, the two Internet titans claimed more than 75 percent of new mobile ad spending in 2013 and together claimed more than 66 percent of total mobile ad spending.

Although it seems fair to place Google and Facebook in a league of their own, there is still an enormous difference between the two companies in terms of market share. In 2013, Google claimed a commanding 49.3 percent of total ad spending, while Facebook claimed 17.5 percent. However, Facebook’s share is up from just 5.4 percent the previous year, while Google’s share in 2013 declined from 52.6 percent in 2012.

This is because 2013 was the year in which Facebook successfully monetized mobile, bringing mobile ad revenue up from about 23 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012 to more than 50 percent of total ad revenue in the fourth quarter of 2013. Moreover, Facebook’s share of total mobile ad spending is expected to increase to 21.7 percent in 2014, while Google’s leading position is expected to erode to 46.8 percent.

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