Twitter’s ad revenue recovery appears to be slower than its owner, Elon Musk, claimed earlier this week in an interview with the BBC. Data from research firms Sensor Tower and Insider Intelligence, as well as statements from multiple companies, indicate that many advertisers are not rushing back to the platform.
Ad spend down roughly 20%. Twitter’s top 50 advertisers spent a combined $83 million over the past two months, down from $102 million in the same period last year. Insider Intelligence has also slashed its forecast for Twitter’s global ad revenue this year by 37%, to $2.98 billion, representing a 28% decline from its 2022 ad revenue of $4.14 billion.
Scaring off big brands. Before Musk’s acquisition of Twitter in late October, major brands such as Mondelez International, Unilever, and Coca-Cola were among the platform’s top 10 advertisers. However, these companies are no longer listed in the top 50 advertisers in the past two months, according to Sensor Tower. Mondelez CEO Dirk Van de Put had previously cited concerns over their ads being placed next to “wrong messages,” including hate speech.
Some advertisers, including AT&T, Volkswagen, Stellantis, and Mars, have confirmed they have not resumed ads on the platform. Several others, like Merck & Co, Google, Kellogg, and Meta Platforms, have not responded to requests for comment on their ad spending.
Twitter’s ad portal also experienced an 18.7% drop in web traffic in March compared to the same time last year, as reported by research firm Similarweb. The firm added that Twitter’s ad business is “eroding” and its subscription product, Twitter Blue, is only moderately successful.
The platform faces the added challenge of competing for brands’ marketing budgets during a time when companies are cutting or reevaluating their ad spend due to economic concerns. Enberg noted that advertisers are focusing on platforms that can offer the highest return on investment, and Twitter has not been that platform.
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Why we care. Twitter is still a popular platform with millions of users, offering potential for targeted ad campaigns and engagement with a wide audience.
However, they need to weigh the risks associated with the platform’s recent controversies, management changes under Elon Musk’s ownership, and the overall decline in advertising revenue. Brands should make informed, educated decisions on whether to invest in Twitter advertising or allocate their marketing budgets to platforms with higher returns on investment and less controversy.