Google, Facebook, Microsoft Spent More Than Two-Thirds of Their 2016 Ad Dollars on TV

Author. Doug McPherson. Source: Response Magazine

Google, Microsoft, and Facebook – three of the biggest internet/digital companies in the world – combined to spend more than 69 percent of their ad dollars on TV in 2016, according to a new report from Response research partner Kantar Media.

Providing more proof of the power of TV’s scale to drive consumers online, the three companies combined to spend more than $813 million on television as part of $1.18 billion in total media spending.

Google spent $260 million on TV in 2016 – up from a mere nearly $180 million in the prior year and more than 74 percent of its total media spend of $350 million. That total was up from $232 million in 2015 and $227 million in 2014.

Microsoft spent $506 million on TV, up from $472 million in 2015. That total represents more than 67 percent of Microsoft’s $746 million in overall media spending (which was up from $700 million in 2015 and $617 million in 2014). As part of that, Microsoft-owned LinkedIn invested 80 percent of its $2.2 million TV ad expenditure – about $1.7 million – on a single ad during the Oscars.

Bing, Microsoft’s search engine, spent nearly $7.8 million in Google search during 2016 – up from $5.6 million in 2015, and nearly $3.9 million in 2014. Google buys advertising on Bing, but the numbers remain unknown.

Facebook had the highest uptick in the amount spent. As part of a 260-percent increase in total media spending (to $80.7 million), Facebook invested $47.5 million in television in 2016 – nearly 60 percent of its total spend.

About 64 percent of Facebook’s total spend – $51 million – was spent to promote Facebook Live, the company’s live streaming feature.

Among other social networks, Twitter is the only one that lowered advertising spending in 2016 – its $9.2 million investment represents a 70-percent dip compared with the previous year. Snapchat nearly doubled its ad spend to $3.2 million. Pinterest’s ad spend rose slightly to $2.1 million.