What are the top ad platforms and are there alternatives?

What are the top ad platforms and are there alternatives?

phone displaying Amazon logo one of the top ad platforms

Discover the top ad platforms marketers spend with and if there are any alternatives.

You probably already have an idea of what the three top ad platforms are, but are there viable alternatives?

A recent survey by Lawless Research and Factual found that among the 700 respondents, the percent of ad spend on Google, Facebook and Amazon was 43 percent. These same respondents said that they wanted alternative ad platforms to these three.

Amazon is the third largest digital ad platform in the United States with many advertising agencies planning to increase their spend with the ecommerce giant. Still, the top two ad platforms among marketers are Google and Facebook.

1. Findings

Despite larger budgets, advertisers can’t seem to find better places to invest their ad dollars. The larger the marketing budget, the more funds devoted to the major platforms. According to the survey, for companies with budgets of $50 million or more, 46 percent are spending at least 60 percent of their budgets with Google, Facebook and Amazon.

2. Alternatives

About 65 percent of survey respondents said they were looking for advertising options other than the top three. The report shows that nearly two-thirds of brand marketers and agencies were extremely, very or moderately concerned about the ad platform oligopoly limiting their ad options.

3. Antitrust Investigations

The government has taken notice. Antitrust investigations are ramping up against all three companies. A combination of public discontent, politics and economics has set off a wave of investigations.

In Europe, major U.S. tech companies have received antitrust probes and penalties for years, putting increased pressure on U.S. regulators to take action. Public perceptions of these companies have also changed, and not for the better.

The House Judiciary Committee will be examining issues of competition and market power, according to a statement released by the committee.

“Given the growing tide of concentration and consolidation across our economy, it is vital that we investigate the current state of competition in digital markets and the health of the antitrust laws,” said Chairman Jerry Nadler.

The House Judiciary Committee will be looking at several issues including:

  • Whether and where competition is lacking in digital markets
  • Whether large companies are suppressing competition
  • Whether congress and regulators need to do more to address big Tech’s dominance

4. Top Ad Platform Alternatives

The marketplace is not without advertising alternatives. The issue is that no platforms can provide the same market share that the top ad platforms can provide:

Google Ads provides marketers with strong results, which is why it makes up so much of the market share. Search traffic tends to convert at a higher rate, because the searcher has a higher intent then the passive audience member who views a display ad.

You can take this search lesson and test other search platforms. If Bing hasn’t worked for you, Twitter might. While Twitter may have far fewer users than Facebook, it is a powerful search engine that allows you to target audiences by keywords. There are also third tier search engine ad platforms like AdMarketplace and Advertise.com.


Google, Facebook and Amazon are currently the top ad platforms. That also makes them the most competitive. Continue to test new ad platforms to find alternatives that work for the offers you run.

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