Yahoo! Falls Behind Microsoft in Digital Advertising Revenue

Source: courtesy of Yahoo!
When it comes to sharing out worldwide revenues for digital advertising, there is Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) and everybody else. In the latest round of rearranging deck chairs, Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) is positioned to take over third place from Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO), and both will trail second-place Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) as well as Google.

The 2013 ranking put Google first with a 31.92% share, Facebook ranked second with 5.82%, Yahoo ranked third with 2.86% and Microsoft ranked fourth with 2.45%.

For 2014, research firm eMarketer forecasts that Google will capture 31.45% of digital ad revenues, followed by Facebook with 7.79%, Microsoft with 2.54% and Yahoo with 2.52%. According to eMarketer, digital ad revenues will rise by 16.7% year-over-year from $120.05 billion in 2013.

At stake is $140.15 billion in 2014 advertising spending, including $32.71 billion in mobile Internet ad spending. Google dominates even more in the mobile Internet category, with an estimated share of 50.2% of the 2014 revenues. Facebook is second with 22.3% and Twitter Inc. (NYSE: TWTR) is third with 2.8%. Neither Microsoft nor Yahoo ranks among the top eight.

Since 2012, Yahoo has seen its share of digital ad revenue fall from 3.36% to 2.52%. In dollar terms, Yahoo posted $3.51 billion in digital ad revenues in 2012 and $3.43 billion in 2013 using eMarketer’s figures. That total will rise to $3.53 billion in 2014, but only because the total market is getting larger.

In our preview of Yahoo’s earnings release, due after the market closes Tuesday, we noted that the consensus revenue estimate for 2014 calls for growth of 1.7%, compared with last year. Yahoo’s ad revenue will rise nearly 3%, using eMarketer’s numbers, but market share leader Google will get a boost of 15% in digital ad revenues.

Without its investment in Alibaba, which is about to return some very big profits, Yahoo would be in even more trouble. Once Alibaba’s IPO is completed, it is difficult to see what will prop up Yahoo’s share price. The ever-dwindling ad revenues are not a good candidate.

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