John Capone's cover story in OMMA Magazine on Google, Is Google Unstoppable, is a good read.

Google's strength in display is well documented and the article highlights the market's three leaders:

  • Facebook ($1.73bn)
  • Google ($1.71bn)
  • Yahoo!

However, Google's growth is red hot and the company's 2013 display revenues are forecast to be $4.7bn. Capone notes that Google's display growth rate is 46% vs Facebook's 27%.

Capone notes several factors for the delta:

  1. Google's performance orientation leads to better results measured by CTR
  2. Facebook limits advertisers to low-performing ad formats, while Google provides much richer, more engaging options
  3. Facebook's management team appears to treat advertising as a necessary evil vs a core competency

An analyst notes,

"If an ad platform allowed an advertiser to deliver a meaningful ad experience to a targeted audience, you would expect users to click on that ad, right? But conversely, if you did not provide advertisers rich and compelling advertising options, if you did not provide them with sophisticated targeting methods to connect with the right audiences at the right time, you would expect your ads to be ignored,” reasons Kim. “And I think that’s what’s happening on Facebook, where we can see the click-through rate of .005 percent. That’s half of the click-through rate of the average banner ad on any Web site in America, and it’s a tenth of the click-through rate of the average ad on Google Display Network [which is reported at 0.4 percent].” And, for good measure, let’s also consider that it’s a hundredth of the CTR on a Google Search ad."

With Facebook's stock flagging, it will be fascinating to watch Facebook work to better serve marketers with thrid party data validation, retargeting, more performant ad formats, or, conversely, continue to limit advertiser options and the office of the CMO and watch Google continue to capture market share.

The article also touches on YHOO and MSFT, two giants working to recapture their position.

Another great read is Opera's State of the Mobile Advertising Business, Q2 2012.  

The article highlights the dominance of iOS, the challenger Android, and the laggards in MSFT and Blackberry.

iOS owns 61% of the market and enjoys a commanding eCPM advantage.

Moreover, the rise of rich media formats on mobile is impressive. In six months HTML5 rich media has grown from 28% to 51% of mobile ads.  

Flite's new Touch Studio is launching into a perfect storm of increased competition for display dollars, the rise of mobile, and the dominance of rich formats.