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Modern economics Google: 20 years of media and advertising disruption

As Google celebrates its 20th birthday, Swiss public television, SRF, asked various experts how the company has influenced the media and advertising landscape in Switzerland.

Google has not only changed the world but also transformed the Swiss advertising market. Traditional billboard advertising is still going strong in the country. Sales of outdoor advertising have increased slightly in Switzerland over the past ten years, from CHF418 million ($430 million) in 2008 to CHF452 million in 2017.

However, as one of the biggest players in advertising, Google has had a significant impact on major media organisations. Swiss media’s advertising sales dropped from CHF2.4 billion in 2008 to CHF1.1 billion in 2017.

Media organisations have had to adjust to the role of digital advertising. Marc Walder, CEO of Ringier, one of the largest media groups in Switzerland, said that around 70% of the company’s sales and revenue now come from things that have nothing to do with journalism but are the result of digital transactions through media platforms.

Google’s advertising revenues in Switzerland alone are estimated to be over CHF1 billion. This has helped search engine advertising reach CHF1.4 billion of the CHF6.4 billion advertising market in Switzerland.

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