Oligopoly? Not so fast

  •   November 6, 2019

Maybe I got out of the wrong side of the bed today, but I see opportunities to call B.S. everywhere, on indiscretions large and small.

So I’ll start with a small one. I’ve been seeing Google, Facebook and Amazon referred to as an “oligopoly.” It’s not. Yes, marketers are spending 43% of their budgets with those three properties, but the distribution of spending allocated to Google/Facebook/Amazon is dramatically different.

The truth is that just over 2% of digital ad spend is going to Amazon. That doesn’t qualify for membership into the oligopoly in my book.

I could even argue that characterizing the market as a duopoly isn’t even accurate, with Facebook only accounting for 11.7% of digital ad spend. Whether Google’s share of over 29% makes it a monopoly is a discussion for another day.

My point; let’s not get carried away. Amazon’s growth is impressive and expected to continue accelerating. But it’s a small (though not insignificant) part of the digital advertising landscape.


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