Ad-pocalypse (not) Now: Facebook, Google, and Twitter rebound on more ads

Monday, November 2, 2020 by Snacks
_Emerging post-ad-pocalypse like_

Emerging post-ad-pocalypse like

Thank you for your ad-tention... Tech giant’s ad sales bounced back last quarter as things "normalized" (by 2020 standards). When lockdowns started, brands slashed spend because that Kylie Lip Kit ad is worthless when your biggest outing is taking out the trash (in a mask). This summer, brands slowed/paused spend in reaction to US civil unrest. But lately, they’ve unleashed an ad-avalanche:

  • Google got its redemption. After its 1st-ever sales decline in the previous quarter, ad sales jumped 10% from last year to $37B. YouTube was the star, with ads up 32% (more skipping for us).
  • Facebook: The ad boycott didn't dent sales, which popped 22% from last year to $21.4B.
  • Twitter crushed expectations. Ad sales grew 15% to $808M.

Facebook's peanuts = Snap's dinner... Over 1K advertisers — including big shots like Verizonpaused ads on Facebook in July to protest hate speech and misinformation policies. But FB now has 10M active advertisers, up from 9M in July. While the boycott didn't hurt Zuck, it fed the smaller networks:

  • Pinterest's sales rose 58% to $443M as marketers shifted ad spend to the way more wholesome social network. That's still crumbs compared to FB's earnings cake.
  • Snap's sales shot up 52% to $679M as advertisers moved to the not-so-wholesome (but way less controversial) app.

Always have a plan B... because plan A(d) is unpredictable. Uncertainty around the pandemic, the election, and intense Congressional scrutiny means spend could be unreliable. So ad Goliaths are looking to other $$ sources: Facebook will start charging for WhatsApp Business. Twitter will begin testing other money-makers (possibly a paid subscription). And Google will have to do something since Apple's building its own search engine.

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