Today I learned – 21st December 2019

OTA’s advertising business has a $1 billion annual run rate

We know Online Travel Agents (OTA) such as Booking.com or Expedia as travel agents or websites where we make reservations. Taking advantage of listings’ desire for exposure, these OTAs charge the listings fees to gain premium positions on their search results, the same way as Google Search Ads works. In 2018, both Booking.com and Expedia recorded more than $1 billion in revenue each from their respective advertising business. It’s nice to have a side business that big, considering that it is not much smaller than what Pinterest and Snap, which make money through ads, generate.

The following chart features advertising revenue from a few select companies in 2018 with a few exceptions:

  • Hulu’s revenue is from 2019 annual report
  • Pinterest’s figure is the high end of their estimate for this year
  • Spotify’s figure is the approximate number for 524 euros
Source: Companies’ filings