Sundar Pichai oversees Google's products, including ads. Photo by Bloomberg.
Exclusive
Facebook Google

Google’s Display Business Booms, But It’s Complicated

Photo: Sundar Pichai oversees Google's products, including ads. Photo by Bloomberg.

Google long ago stopped being a one-trick pony dependent on selling search ads. But having two big advertising businesses—first search, now display—isn’t enough to stop the company’s growth from slowing.

Google’s display advertising business is growing much faster than search ads, reaching $10 billion in revenue in 2014, or around 15 percent of total revenue, according to two people briefed on the number, which has not been reported before. That’s up from around $5 billion in 2012, based on a disclosed projection by CEO Larry Page at the start of that year. The figure includes Google’s DoubleClick Ad Exchange, which hit $1 billion in revenue last year in the Americas, said one person familiar with the number.

Those are big numbers. And taken together, Google’s display business, which includes the sale of both graphical and video ads, represents 80 percent of the total revenue generated by Facebook, the leader in display-ad sales. But the display ad world remains fragmented among many different players. And despite good execution by some of the display ad units at Google, the category won’t be a rocket ship for Google the way search was.

Internal differences between senior executives about how best to expand the display business have complicated Google’s prospects, as much as competition from other companies.

Get access to exclusive coverage
Read deeply reported stories from the largest newsroom in tech.
Latest Articles
 
Startups Entertainment
How NBCU Missed Out on Billions in Gains on Snap and Peloton
Illustration by Jeremie Claeys
This week Snap crossed an important symbolic milestone: The company, buoyed by an investor presentation that painted a rosy picture of its future, surpassed $100 billion in market value. Its shares are up 320% since late 2019. But one former shareholder likely isn’t so pleased: NBCUniversal. The Comcast-owned entertainment company sold out of Snap at the end of 2019, barely breaking even...
Latest Briefs
 
Facebook Ends Australia News Blackout After Striking Deal with Local News Publishers
ByteDance OKs $92 Million Settlement of Lawsuit Claiming it Violated Teen Users’ Privacy
Former Kuaishou Executive Arrested for Alleged Corruption
Stay in the know
Receive a summary of the day's top tech news—distilled into one email.
Access on the go
View stories on our mobile app and tune into our weekly podcast.
Join live video Q&A’s
Deep-dive into topics like startups and autonomous vehicles with our top reporters and other executives.
Enjoy a clutter-free experience
Read without any banner ads.
Zoom CEO Eric Yuan. Photo by Bloomberg
Exclusive Microsoft Google
Zoom Executives Have Discussed an Expansion Into Contact Center Market
Zoom Video Communications’ pockets are full of cash after a $2 billion secondary offering of its shares last month.
Art by Mike Sullivan
Opinion Policy Google
Data Is the New Sand
The metaphors we use are like a map. They can guide us or lead us astray. When British mathematician Clive Humby said “ Data is the new oil ” back in 2006, he meant that data, like oil, must be refined and transformed to make it into useful products and services.
Katana's Kristjan Vilosius (from left to right), Priit Kaasik and Hannes Kert. Photo provided by Katana
Exclusive Venture Capital Startups
As Shopify Surges, So Are the Software Startups Riding Its Coattails
Shopify’s stock has more than quadrupled since shoppers began flocking at the start of the pandemic to the online stores of the smaller merchants Shopify serves.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. Photo by Bloomberg
Exclusive Microsoft
Microsoft’s New Gig: A LinkedIn Freelancer Market Rivaling Upwork, Fiverr
LinkedIn is developing a new service called Marketplaces to let its 740 million users find and book freelancers, pitting it against publicly traded firms such as Upwork and Fiverr, according to two people with direct knowledge of the matter.
An image from the upcoming Disney movie 'Soul'. Photo courtesy of Disney
Exclusive
Data Reveals 40% of Disney+ Subscribers Are in the U.S.
Disney’s flagship video-streaming service, Disney+, has quickly emerged as the only true competitor to Netflix, signing up nearly 100 million subscribers globally after 15 months, about half as many as Netflix has accumulated after a decade.
Aviatrix CEO Steve Mullaney. Photo provided by Aviatrix
Exclusive Venture Capital Startups
Cloud Startup Aviatrix Raises Round at Valuation Over $700 Million
A startup that helps companies avoid networking foul-ups when they run applications in the cloud is grabbing attention from investors.