Investors start to see second quarter reports on revenue and earnings from Internet search, streaming, and social media companies next week when on Monday, July 18, both Yahoo (YHOO) and Netflix (NFLX) report. Amazon (AMZN) follows on July 21. And then in the following week the sector hits full speed with Twitter (TWTR) on July 26, Facebook (FB) on July 27, and Alphabet (GOOG) on July 28.
Before we get bogged down in company specific numbers, though, let’s stop for a moment to look at the big trends reordering this space.
Trend #1: Global spending on mobile ads is set to surpass spending on banner ads next year. This year, 2016, market research by Zenith, the research unit of the giant ad company Publicis Groupe, spending on desktop digital display ads will fall by 3.1%. In 2017 spending on desktop banner ads will be flat with 2016. By 207, when Zenith projects that advertisers will spend $32.6 billion on social media ads, spending in that digital ad category will exceed spending on desktop banner ads.
Trend #2: Global spending on online video ads in’t far behind in its growth curve. According to Zenith, global spending on ads on online video will catch up to spending on desktop display ads by 2018.
Read the quarterly reports from Alphabet (aka Google) and Facebook through the lens of these two trends. Google now dominates display ads. Facebook is the Big Kahuna in social media. Google, though, has an online video card up its sleeve in its ownership of YouTube–although just about everybody in this space, especially Facebook, is determined to find a way to chip away at YouTube’s dominance. (And let’s not forget the leaders in China’s market Alibaba (BABA) and Tencent Holdings (TCEHY) since China is on a trend to be a bigger online ad and video market than the United States within this timeframe.)