Google took the top place for ad spend in 2016, according to new data from Zenith, with Facebook playing a fairly distant second fiddle. The two U.S. tech giants managed to bank $79.4 billion and $26.9 billion from advertisers' wallets, for a total exceeding $100 billion between the two of them. The listing for Google covers all Alphabet ventures that involved advertising in any form, while the listing for Facebook covers spending across all of their products, including the main Facebook app, Messenger, and things like corporate sponsorships, that could be termed ad spend. The two tech giants' closest competitor was Comcast, sitting pretty at $12.9 billion, while Twitter rounds out Zenith's list of the top 30 global media firms.
The list is rife with US firms, especially tech firms, simply because that's where most of the advertisers are, according to Zenith. International entities did exist on the list, of course. China, for example, was represented by Google competitor Baidu, WeChat owner Tencent, and local TV network CCTV, who managed to snatch up places 4, 14, and 20, respectively. Aside from the four mentioned above, the top ten in the list consisted of Disney, Fox, CBS, iHeartMedia, Microsoft, and German mass media outfit Bertelsmann. Comcast is the winner among traditional media owners, but according to Zenith's head of forecasting, Jonathan Barnard, the ranking shows the strength and growth of internet businesses in recent years. Google and Facebook have reportedly managed to collectively represent about 2/3 of the global growth in the ad spending space since 2012, while list rounder Twitter has grown 734% since that time.
Most of the companies on the list owe their upward mobility at least partially to major happenings and initiatives. Facebook and Twitter, for example, have recently made major changes to their platform in regards to how live video is handled. This meant phenomenal growth for Facebook's ad revenue because of the additional ads being shown to its massive install base, while Twitter is managing to stem its outward flow of users and even attract waves of new users with its live video pushes. Google, meanwhile, has been working to expand their core businesses, such as Android, YouTube, and Search, as well as spreading the purview of their products further through things like the continued proliferation of Chrome OS outside of the consumer space.