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Elon Musk's X is seeing an exodus of ad dollars — and LinkedIn is picking up some of that revenue

Lakshmi Varanasi   

Elon Musk's X is seeing an exodus of ad dollars — and LinkedIn is picking up some of that revenue
  • Demand for digital advertising on LinkedIn is rising as brands leave X.
  • LinkedIn saw a 10% jump in US ad revenue from 2022 to 2023, according to Insider Intelligence.

Professional networking platform LinkedIn is seeing a surge in demand for digital advertising space from brands — especially those looking to part ways with Elon Musk's X. And it's helping the company charge more.

"This is LinkedIn season," Leesha Anderson, vice-president of digital marketing and social media at Outcast ad agency, told the Financial Times. "Most have switched over to LinkedIn over the past year… A few weeks ago most of our clients were off X. Now they are all off X."

Over the past several weeks, there's been a mass exodus of advertisers from X. Major companies from IBM to Apple to Disney have pulled ads from the platform following reports they were being displayed next to pro-Nazi posts and that Musk was doubling down on antisemitic comments.

And while Musk told departing advertisers they could go "f--k" themselves, LinkedIn seems to have presented itself as a more hospitable alternative, telling brands they could "work with a partner who respects the world you operate in," according to a pitch deck seen by the FT.

LinkedIn's US advertising revenue for 2023 will come in at close to $4 billion — marking a 10% jump from 2022, according to estimates from Insider Intelligence, which is owned by Business Insider's parent company. And that number is likely to swell next year to about $4.56 billion.

Meanwhile, X is on pace to bring in $1.89 billion in ad revenue in the US this year, representing a 54% drop from 2022, according to Insider Intelligence.

The influx of digital advertisers has helped drive up LinkedIn's ad prices, which are usually determined by an auction. In some cases, the competition has pushed up prices by as much as 30% over the past year, one executive told the FT. LinkedIn did not comment on how many digital advertisers it serves, but a spokesperson told BI that the number has doubled in the past five years.

Still, X and LinkedIn remain smaller players in the digital advertising space. X accounted for a mere 0.4% of total digital ad spending in the country this year, while LinkedIn accounted for just 1.5%, according to Insider Intelligence. Ad giants like Google and Meta brought in close to 27% and 21% respectively.

X did not respond to BI's request for comment.




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