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08 November 2018

Tech Giants UK Ad Revenues Top £11bn

The tech giants UK ad revenues have topped £11 billion for the first time as local and national newsbrands - whose content powers engagement on search and social media - continue to face further pressure, according to the latest Advertising Association/Warc ad expenditure report.

Figures for the first half of 2018 show that UK ad spend over the past year for internet pure play, mainly Google and Facebook, totalled £11.2 billion, as national and local news media publishers continued to experience steep ad revenue declines.

Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright highlighted the reliance of the tech giants on news media publishers’ content earlier this week saying at the Society of Editors conference that “many of these platforms are powered by the sharing of news, and it is vital that the producers of this news are recognised and rewarded.”

Also this week, the European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager indicated that the EU's case involving Google's AdSense advertising service was nearing a conclusion. “We are approaching the end of that investigation,” Vestager said, according to Reuters.

The News Media Association has highlighted the unfairness of the current digital environment and called for a “fair and equitable” content licence fee agreement which would ensure that news media publishers are appropriately rewarded for the use of their content by the tech giants.

The NMA also joined Ofcom and UK broadcasters in calling for independent regulatory oversight of the tech platforms, and for the launch of a competition inquiry into the dominance of the tech giants.

The chief executive of the Competition and Markets Authority has said that the body was “actively considering” looking into the digital advertising market.

The latest AA figures did show growth in digital ad revenues for local and national news media publishers but they are dwarfed by the tech giants ad revenues which were more than 22 times greater.