Yesterday Google mentioned in passing that it made £2.2bn in the UK last year, making it far and away the UK's largest single advertising channel and giving it roughly 50% of the UK online ad market and approximately 12% of the whole UK ad market.
Google's 4Q2010 results break out, as usual, UK-only revenues and they allow for some interesting comparisons.
Google announced UK revenues of $878m/£582m in the final quarter of 2010, making the company's UK revenues for the full year $3.3bn/£2.2bn. Compare that to the UK's powerhouses of TV advertising - Sky reported ad revenues of £319m and ITV ad revenues of £728m in 2010 (Sky of course makes about four billion in TV subs revenues on top of that).
Google also generated around £650m for its UK AdWords partners, meaning that once again AdSense partnerships made only slightly less money for publishers in the UK than the whole of the digital display market, which stood around £700m in 2009 and will at a rough estimate end up around £800m in 2010.
So Google is not merely the largest but far and away the largest ad channel in the UK by revenues. Work it out by profits and the situation is of, course, even more in Google's favour. Last year it once again accounted for about half of the ad money spent here online, and more than 10% of all advertising in any medium (it'll be possible to be more precise when IAB/PwC etc bring out their full-year reports for 2010). That basic idea of getting people off the site as quickly as possible still seems to be working out ok. And as Larry Page once again takes over the business he created, that very success means he'll be taking on a whole lot of regulatory and competition oversight problems.
(Methodological notes. The Google revenues are quoted in dollars so I have assumed throughout a $/£ conversion at the average across the year - 0.66304, according to OandA. The actual exchange rate will have differed at various times, though not perhaps materially. I have also assumed that the ratio of own site to network revenues reported for the business as a whole maps onto the UK, which it might not, and I have made some very rough estimates for the size of both the online and whole UK ad market in 2010 which I expect to be directionally right when the full reports come out.)