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March 27, 2019updated 30 Sep 2022 7:34am

Duopoly predicted to increase share of UK digital ad market this year taking £9.3bn

By James Walker

Google and Facebook will increase their share of the UK digital advertising market again this year, according to a new forecast.

Research firm eMarketer predicts that the Duopoly will take 63.3 per cent of UK digital ad spend this year – up from 62.7 per cent last year – with Google taking 38.8 per cent and Facebook taking 24.5 per cent.

By 2021 this will climb to 65 per cent, the firm predicted.

It said it expects the overall UK digital ad market to grow by more than 11 per cent to £14.7bn this year.

UK analyst Bill Fisher said: “The Duopoly’s stranglehold on the UK digital ad market is strengthening, with Brexit uncertainties being the main driver of this trend.

“In the first instance, digital is attracting ad dollars because there is less friction in terms of moving spend into or out of it.

“That’s something that cost-conscious ad buyers are particularly mindful of, given the current economic climate.”

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He added that Facebook and Google “offer advertisers unprecedented reach” that they would “increasingly covet” should budgets be stretched.

The Duopoly’s dominance will see the firms make a combined £9.3bn, according to the forecast, with Google taking the lion’s share at £5.72bn.

The predicted boost for the tech giants comes after the Cairncross Review into the future of the press in the digital age tasked the UK competition watchdog with carrying out a market study into the online ad industry.

Chancellor Philip Hammond has also pushed the Competition and Markets Authority to investigate the sector.

His call came after the Digital Competition Expert Panel review, commissioned by the Treasury and led by former Obama advisor Jason Furman, also recommended a study into the digital ad market.

The eMarketer forecast predicted Snapchat would grow its market share by 28.3 per cent, reaching £100m in ad spend, and account for nearly 1 per cent of the UK mobile ad market.

Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, is expected to take 9.5 per cent of all mobile ad spend and 6.7 per cent of the overall digital ad market – representing combined growth of 52 per cent.

Last month eMarketer forecast that Google would see its share of digital ad money in the US fall this year, however it has said in its latest report that the tech giant’s market share is “virtually unchanged” from last year.

Read the full report.

Picture: Reuters/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

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