The U.S. internet advertising industry is projected to hit $160 billion by 2023 from $107 billion last year, led by fast-growing categories like mobile video with Alphabet’s Google and Facebook firmly controlling the market, consultancy PwC said.
Google and Facebook together commanded nearly 60 percent of the U.S. internet advertising market in 2018, according to the report, up 3 percent from the previous year.
Google’s YouTube dominates online video, while Facebook has been expanding its video product called Watch and adding advertising options.
Google and Facebook are currently under watch by U.S. regulators for possible antitrust concerns, as well as tech giants Apple and Amazon.com.
U.S. wireless carrier AT&T despite spending $85 billion for media company Time Warner to transform into a media and advertising firm, has only managed to eke out single digit market share, according to PwC.
Gaining market share is difficult because platforms must have features that are new and specific as well as some degree of emerging technology, said C.J. Bangah, a principal at PwC.
An advantage the telecommunications companies like AT&T have over Google and Facebook is they will benefit from 5G, the next generation wireless network that is expected to bring technology like autonomous cars to reality.
“The opportunity created for telecom providers is they know where consumers are, they’re benefiting from 5G and they know what apps consumers spend time on,” she said.
Amazon, the largest U.S. online retailer, has been able to gain the most ground over the past year, though it too only has single-digit market share, PwC said.
Amazon, according to media reports, is targeting to buy Boost Mobile, a pre-paid mobile brand, from Sprint.
Ad research firm eMarketer said Google is expected to capture 37 percent of the $129 billion spent on online ads in the United States in 2019, compared to 22 percent for No. 2 Facebook Inc and 10 percent for No. 3 Amazon.com.
Digital advertising revenue accounted for about 85 percent of revenue last year for Google parent Alphabet.
The U.S. government is gearing up to investigate the market power of Amazon.com, Apple, Facebook and Google, Reuters reported on Monday.