We’re trying to report on all the positive news amid the coronavirus pandemic, but we can’t ignore the bad news. For example, the likely impact on digital advertising spending, with the giants of that space – Google and Facebook – likely to take the biggest hits.
“The two internet giants together could see more than $44 billion in worldwide ad revenue evaporate in 2020,” reported Variety, citing an estimate published by analyst firm Cowen & Co. “For 2020, Google total net revenue is now projected to be about $127.5 billion, down $28.6 billion versus Cowen’s prior estimate (an 18% decline). Facebook ad revenue for the year is pegged at $67.8 billion for the year, a drop of $15.7 billion (-19%) vs. Cowen’s previous forecast.”
Now, bear in mind how large these companies’ businesses were anyway. “Both Google and Facebook will continue to be massively profitable even with double-digit revenue drops,” as Variety put it. But the wider implications for other kinds of ad-supported businesses, and in some cases the artists who do make some money from them, is nothing to celebrate.