Watch Out, Facebook; Google May Lead 2013 Ad Sales

Facebook’s lead in online display advertising sales could be short lived, as Google’s business is growing faster than anticipated.

A new report from eMarketer says Google’s display ad sales could surpass Facebook’s by next year.

Facebook this year will have 16.8 percent of U.S. display ad sales, up from 14 percent in 2011 and 11.5 percent in 2010.

By contrast, Google will have 16.5 percent this year, up from 13.8 percent in 2011 and 12.1 percent in 2010, when the company closed its deal to purchase AdMob.

Facebook and Google together will account for one third of all online display ad sales this year, and that could grow to 38.8 percent by 2014, making for what eMarketer calls a “two-horse race.”

The latest eMarketer forecast also includes a slight downward revision of Facebook’s figures after the company’s S-1 filing revealed a slower-than-expected growth rate for 2011, particularly in the fourth quarter.

However, Facebook’s global revenues are expected to grow 64 percent to $6.1 billion this year, up from $3.7 billion in 2011.

By contrast, eMarketer estimates that one in ten advertising dollars spent in the U.S. will go to Google, since the total U.S. ad market is rising to $169.5 billion in 2012 from $158.9 billion in 2011.

Readers, what do you make of these latest numbers from eMarketer?

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