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Weekly Roundup: Google’s Revenue Decline, Safari Against Trackers, and More.

Adtech Weekly
"Google and Facebook are happy to pay for news — as long as it’s on their terms."

Latest COVID-19 Trends for Publishers

Changing Consumer Behaviour

Consumers are restraining themselves from going to the retail stores since the pandemic has started. This change in consumer behavior has brought a shift in the number of people making digital purchases. To be precise, there has been a 5.8% increase in the total number of online buyers. It means nearly 5 million new digital users, according to a report by eMarketer.

eMarketer Consumer behaviour

Declining Revenues

Google’s revenue is going to decline by 5.3% from the US ad market in 2020. According to the estimates, the revenue will reach $39.58 billion by the end of 2020. However, the revenue is expected to bounce back by more than 20% in the next year. The reason behind the fall is said to be a 7.2% decline in its net search ad revenue from the US.

Google's Falling Ad Revenue


There is a broad consensus that the ad spends will be less than the expectations in 2020, and we are already seeing it happening for the past few months. Google’s falling revenue also signals in the same direction.

But more and more people moving online for shopping can be a good sign for publishers. The changing consumer behavior will, at least, bring eCommerce players onboard. Creating eCommerce centric content can help publishers in bringing more affiliate revenue to some extent. Moreover, Google’s expected rebound in 2021 gives us hope that the current state of the industry will not persist for a long time.

Google’s Share in Your Ad Revenue

Google has recently released a couple of blog posts that reveal its ad-tech fees. The rates vary according to the Google products being used in the ad delivery. Here are the numbers:

  • DV360 takes an average of 13% of the ad-spend from the advertiser.
  • Google Ad Manager charges an average of 18% from the publisher.
  • It means when the ad-spend starts and ends with Google tech, the publisher receives 69% of it and the remaining 31% goes to Google.
  • Google Ads charges an average of 14% from the advertiser. The average varies because Google charges the advertiser on a CPC/CPA basis whereas it pays publishers on CPM and CPC basis.
  • In the analysis, it shows that the charges were 16% when the news publishers filled their ad inventory programmatically with Google Ad Manager. In direct campaigns, the fee can go up to 5%.

These fees are made public for the first time as Google is being probed for anti-competitive practices.

The Changing Landscape of Ad Tracking

On Monday, Apple announced another privacy feature for its Safari users. The users will now be able to know about all the ad trackers embedded on a webpage. The anti-tracker will be blocking intrusive ads while sitting beside the address bar. The feature will be available with the upcoming version of macOS.

Safari Ad Tracker

Apple has been fighting in the ad industry for a long time. But it is not the only one doing so. As the users are also gravitating towards privacy solutions, many companies have come up in the market, beating the drum about privacy.

You can find hundreds of browsers on Android’s Play Store that offer anti-tracking features. For instance, Brave, a very small player in the browser market boasts more than 10 Million downloads. It is because of such trends, even Google is forced to self-sacrifice the third-party cookie.


Internet users are becoming wary of ad tracking and the companies that do not rely on ads are leveraging the situation. If the trend continues then the future will definitely be difficult for the industry. There is a need to educate the users that not all kinds of tracking are harmful to them. Publishers need to convey that how much important is advertising for their survival. Currently, there is an imbalance between the number of people talking against and in favor of online advertising.

Google and News Publishers

Google’s initiative to pay news publishers is taking shape at a slow pace. Recently it announced that it’ll be paying publishers from Australia, Germany, and Brazil for now. There is no explanation about why it chose only those countries. The move is not being seen positively in the industry. It’s being said that Google is choosing only the countries where it is being pressurized the most. 

“So far, initial publishers include Australian local publishing group Solstice Media; Germany’s Spiegel Group; and Brazilian media company Diarios Associados. Google is currently engaged in discussions with more partners.”


An article published by NeimanLab describes Google’s initiative as just a PR move. It says such moves are made by tech giants to improve their image in front of the governments and this image can help them when they are in legal troubles.

“The next time one of their executives gets dragged to D.C., he can go beyond platitudes about democracy and trying to explain the value of traffic to congressmen who can’t figure out their smartphones. He can say: “Actually, we do pay news publishers for their work — many millions of dollars every year.” It’s a good line!



We cannot deny the fact that any company in the world will take action that provides benefits to it. Other than goodwill, we cannot see any benefit that Google will receive out of the initiative. In fact, it’ll be a monetary expense for the company. It’ll be speculative to say why Google chose only the three countries. Publishers can only wait and watch as the events unfold.

Moments That Matter

InfoSum and Throttle Link Up to Create Decentralized Ad ID Solution – ADWEEK

Publishers Try Sending News by Text – WSJ

Publishers see digital events as a new route to audience data – Digiday

The CNIL Can’t Legally Forbid Cookie Walls Under GDPR- Adexchanger

Automatad Team

At Automatad, we help publishers to monetize better without hampering the user experience. Our products are live across hundreds of publishers, earning them incremental ad revenue with every passing second. You can request a free audit to get an estimated revenue uplift today.

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