Twitter’s advertising business, a key revenue generator, continues to struggle with more than half of the company’s top advertisers no longer spending with the platform.
According to data released by marketing analytics firm Pathmatics, 625 of the company’s top 1000 advertisers, including Coca-Cola, Jeep, and Unilever, had pulled the plug on Twitter advertising as of January 2023. Meanwhile, many of the remaining top advertisers significantly cut back their spending on the platform.
For example, HBO, the top Twitter advertiser in September 2022, spent $12 million on ads that month. However, the company had spent just over $54,000 as of January 25, 2023, according to CNN.
This decline plummeted the company’s ad revenue by more than 60% between October and January, resulting in a drop from $127 million to just $48 million. Before CEO Elon Musk’s takeover in October 2022, the company’s ad unit generated nearly $4.5 billion in annual revenue, accounting for the bulk of the company’s overall revenue.
The company’s ad division began to suffer after Musk fired much of the company’s media relations and content moderation teams. His decision led many advertisers to flee as they feared the placement of their ads next to “toxic content” from previously banned accounts that Musk has reinstated.
To revive its ad business, the company has recently offered advertisers discounts, including a Super Bowl fire sale deal. The company has also partnered with an external “brand safety” firm that promises that advertisers’ content will not appear next to inappropriate or unsafe content. However, concerns remain over the platform’s ability to deliver on its reassurances, as highlighted in the Center for Countering Digital Hate’s recent research.