Microsoft ad revenues rose by 20.8% in 2015 and are projected to rise by another 15% this year according to research compiled by eMarketer.
While the percentage growth is good, Microsoft is coming off a fairly low base with only 3.3% of global net search ad revenues (compared to Googles 55.2%).
The news, however, is not so good for Yahoo. In 2014, Yahoo (2.8%) and Microsoft (3%) were neck and neck in worldwide ad revenue. It is projected that in 2016 Microsoft (3.4%) will have more than double the global ad share of Yahoo (1.6%) while Yahoo revenue will have been declining for two consecutive years.
Microsoft has a much greater share of ad revenue in the US: 8.4% last year. That puts it firmly in second place after Google; by 2018 it is predicted that share will further increase to 8.6%.
The growth is indicative of the all-in-one search approach Microsoft has had over the last couple of years, integrating Bing into the Microsoft ecosystem and improving both the Bing platform and user experience.
Yahoo’s decline is like a slow-moving train wreck. The company is up for sale at the moment and it is hard to see it making any real headway in search over the coming 12 months (if ever).
Why should you care?
In the NZ market we have seen steady increase in ad spend and search volume on Bing. The lack of advertiser competition on Bing (compared to that on Google) usually means a lower cost per click and better returns on ad spend.
While we certainly don’t advocate stopping Google spend, for many advertisers there’s benefit in dedicating a small proportion of PPC budget to Bing. It’s still possible to run more aggressive Bing campaigns for search terms that would be too competitive and too expensive to run on Google.
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Glenn is a Partner and Senior Consultant who has had a very successful career building growth companies in the private equity arena. He has a wealth of experience in both the digital space and strategy development. Prior to becoming a partner in SureFire Glenn built one of the largest digital teams in New Zealand for a NASDAQ listed global online marketing company & Google's largest premium partner.