If Internet research firm eMarketer's latest estimates are anything close to reality, Yahoo and AOL face increasingly marginal futures. (Also see: Yet another rumor about AOL merging with Yahoo) Both companies are trying to turn around their recent sagging fortunes, but according to eMarketer, each will continue to lose ground to Facebook and Google in the race for online display-ad market share. In its report released Tuesday, eMarketer said that "more than one in five US display dollars" will go to Facebook: For the first time, the largest share of US display ad revenues will go to Facebook, eMarketer estimates. The social network’s 80.9% growth in display ad revenues, to $2.19 billion this year, will mean Facebook sees 21.6% of all US display ad dollars. That will put it ahead of Yahoo!, where eMarketer estimates display revenues will be up 16%. Yahoo!’s market share will inch up to 16.4%, while display gains at Google push the site’s share of display spending to 12.6%. Meanwhile, AOL will drop from 5.3% of display ad revenues in 2010 to 4.4% this year. eMarketer also expects Yahoo (16.3% from 16.4%) and AOL (3.7% from 4.4%) to lose ground in display-ad market share in 2012. David Hallerman, principal analyst at eMarketer, said in a statement, “Yahoo!’s US display ad revenues will increase by double digits each year from 2010 through 2012. Despite that, not only will Facebook’s display revenues surpass Yahoo!’s this year, Google’s revenues will exceed Yahoo!’s next year.” Below is eMarketer's forecast chart for display-ad market share.
The search ad market isn't expected to be any kinder to Yahoo and AOL. eMarketer predicts both will continue to lose market share and that "search revenues at Yahoo will continue a slow decline, dropping to $1.1 billion this year from $1.28 billion in 2010."
Chris Nerney writes about the business side of technology market strategies and trends, legal issues, leadership changes, mergers, venture capital, IPOs and technology stocks. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisNerney.