Google’s US advertising revenue will drop 5.3 percent as brands pare spending during the coronavirus pandemic, according to an eMarketer report, the first decline since 2008 when the research firm began estimating the unit’s ad revenues.
The decline for the world’s largest digital advertising company is primarily due to its heavy reliance on travel companies that advertise in Google searches, which has been the hardest-hit industry during the pandemic, eMarketer said.
The forecast shows how the health crisis has hurt even the largest advertising platforms, as ad spending typically follows economic conditions and demand from consumers.
Google had been expected to grow its US ad revenue by almost 13 percent, according to eMarketer’s first-quarter forecast which did not account for the pandemic.
Facebook, the second-largest digital ad company, is expected to increase its US ad revenue by nearly 5 percent this year, far less than the 26 percent growth in 2019, the research firm said.