Google’s slide in ad revenue shows how a pandemic-related pullback in media spending is affecting companies in different ways. Twitter last week also reported a drop in Q2 ad revenue, contrasting with the gains reported this week by Facebook, Amazon and Snap. However, Google’s digital ad business is bigger and more mature than those of its rivals, making its prior growth rates harder to achieve even when economic conditions are better.
YouTube was a notable bright spot, though its growth slowed significantly from prior periods. The results follow a forecast last month by GroupM, the media-buying unit of ad giant WPP, that predicted the global digital advertising market this year would shrink 2.3% and that search advertising would fall 2.6% to $109 billion due to the pandemic.