Change is coming to the Search sector of digital advertising. For the better part of 20 years Google has utterly dominated the space with the ubiquitous keyword searches we all do every day. Recently Facebook has started to take a piece of the Search pie too, and according to eMarketer the duopoly now controls 80% (not a typo) of the US Search ad market.
But the duo’s Search stranglehold is about to be broken courtesy of the human voice. Thanks to advances in AI Voice is starting to replace Visual and Touch inputs as the primary way we interact with the technology around us. These days we’re speaking into our devices more and typing on keyboards/touching smartphone screens less. So it makes sense that we’ll start to use voice-enabled smartspeakers to search instead of typing keywords into a Google browser. Even according to Google’s own research over 40% of US adults now use voice for Search, and it’s forecasted that 50% of all searches made in the US by 2020 will be voice-based. Are you getting an idea of how big of a threat this will be for Google’s Search cash cow?
So who’s to benefit from the shift to voice-based Search? Amazon, of course! As the manufacturer of the market-leading Echo smartspeakers, Amazon can control tomorrow’s Search playing field. As a result Amazon’s ad business is forecasted to surge over the next few years. Global ad rev estimates for Amazon could go as high at $20B by 2020 (with $8B in US), compared to just $3B in 2017. And if most of that money is coming from Search budgets you can be sure Google will finally feel some pain.