There have been two more-or-less accepted truths regarding internet advertising for the past ten years. First, the industry was remarkably immune to the business cycle despite its fast expansion. The second factor was the duopoly of Google (in search ads) and Meta (in social media), which one envious competitor has compared to John Rockefeller’s monopoly on oil in the 19th century.
The cyclical issue might not be the worst thing that can happen to Meta and Alphabet, the company that owns Google. They may have once thought that by snatching up a bigger piece of the digital ad pie, they might make up for its slower growth. not anymore.
Sales of their four main rivals in the West will total about a fourth as much as their combined estimated $300 billion in revenue this year. Even while it might not seem like much, the incumbents have good reason to be concerned.
Most of those competitors barely operated in the advertising industry five years ago (see chart). In addition, as digital advertising