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Microsoft Bing: A forgotten $10B+ business

Looking at the lucrative Search Advertising market


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Today we look at Microsoft Bing - a forgotten Search Engine, with a surprisingly high revenue.

When we think of internet search, we think of Google. And for a good reason.

Acc. to StatCounter, almost 93% of all search queries across platforms (e.g. desktop, mobile, console) is through Google.

As seen in the chart above, Microsoft Bing’s market share is a measly 3% and hasn’t really moved much in the last 10 years.

However, Search Advertising is a very lucrative business. A small market share point can mean a lot in revenue.

In spite of being a “forgotten” name in Search, Bing still generated est. $11.7 billion of revenue in 2022. 

This is larger than entire social media companies like Twitter and Snapchat and very similar to the fast growing TikTok. Remember - these social media companies have hundreds of millions of engaged users who log in every day.

However, instead of casual browsing that a lot of us do on social media, people typically go to a search engine looking for answers to specific questions they have - like destinations for their next vacation.

In the world of digital advertising, they are called high intent users, and are worth a lot to advertisers.

Google has had a cushy position in Search Advertising for 20+ years, but now Microsoft wants to change it.

It recently partnered with OpenAI (creator of the ChatGPT - the buzzy AI Bot) to relaunch Bing where users can get their questions answered by AI-driven ChatGPT

Microsoft doesn’t have to defeat Google. All it has to do is to gain some market share over Google.

For every one point of share gain in the search advertising market, it’s a $2 billion revenue opportunity for our advertising business.

Phil Ockendon, CFO Microsoft

Next few years are expected to be quite exciting in the Search industry as Microsoft and Google go at each other.

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