Big Tech Advertising Boomed In 2021 And Early 2022. What Comes Next?

Jul 18, 2022


By Tony Silber

One of the recurring themes in the advertising world for the last two years was the boom in digital advertising. The story was everywhere. Pandemic or not, it was the advertising salad days. Media-company CEOs would tell me repeatedly that their ad business was booming.

Some of it was due to the cancellation of live events, for sure. But the boom extended beyond that—forecasters predicted robust growth as far as the eye could see.

U.S. digital ad spending will grow by nearly 50% in the next four years, Insider Intelligence wrote in April. “These are boom times for digital advertising,” an Insider Intelligence report predicted. “By 2025, the digital ad market will top $300 billion—more than three-quarters of all media spending. Digital has eclipsed all other forms of advertising, but it has also outperformed our expectations several times in recent years.”

Even the hardest hit industries, travel and auto, have rebounded, the report continued.

And interestingly, despite all the interest in lead generation, Insider Intelligence predicted that top-of-the-funnel growth spending would drive the growth.

But there’s another side of this boom. Be all this good news as it may, most of the money—more than 70%—is flowing to a handful of companies: Google, YouTube, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Spotify.

So while the much smaller media companies have done well too, the ballyhooed boom disproportionally benefits the giants. Now, the media brand The Information is predicting the economic uncertainty of 2022 might produce a reset.

The second half of this year might not even be enough to say whether the long-term trend will hold: Both political and travel advertising will continue to boost the market.