Google Wants Advertisers To Spend All Their Money Online, But Most Of Its Own Ad Budget Goes To TV

Larry Page


Google CEO Larry Page

Of the many companies trying to convince marketing executives to spend their money on the internet instead of on television, none is more invested than Google.

The company currently controls a whopping 40% of the U.S. digital advertising market, and it has spent the past year going to great lengths to show media buyers that its YouTube platform is a superior marketing vehicle than cable. INSERT GOOGLE REVS HERE.

And yet, Google doesn't always put its money where its mouth is. We took a look at how it spends its U.S. marketing budget and found that it actually likes television quite a bit.

In fact, according to Kantar Media, Google spent about 78% of its $569 million U.S. ad budget on television last year, compared to just 15% on internet advertising. As you can see in the chart below, it ramped up its TV spending from $243 million in 2012 to $445 million in 2013.

Google ad spending

Source: Kantar Media

In some sense, it's understandable that Google would not need to promote itself to people already using the internet, but it's still fascinating that the percentage it spends on digital advertising (15.1%) is less than digital's share of the general U.S. ad market (21.7%).

Though people are spending more and more time online, big brands still feel they can get more of people's attention with a 30-second TV spot than a banner ad.

2013 Google Ad Spend by Medium

Source: ZenithOptimedia

2013 U.S. advertising spend by medium