Inside Amazon: Everything we know about the e-commerce giant's growing advertising business

Amazon is increasingly taking on Facebook and Google for digital advertising dollars while other e-commerce companies like Walmart, Target, and Instacart are beefing up their own ad businesses.

The pandemic has drastically cut ad budgets as marketers reign back their spending, but e-commerce advertising is booming as people shop more from home. EMarketer forecasts that e-commerce advertising will rise 39% to $17.4 billion in the US in 2020, to represent 12% of digital ad spend. 

Here's the latest on what we know about the company's moves to turn advertising into a larger revenue stream.

Amazon's ad leadership

  • The 18 power players at Amazon who are leading the e-commerce giant's media ambitions
  • Advertising is Amazon's fastest-growing business and is expected to surpass $17 billion this year. Here are the 19 top insiders leading the charge.
  • Amazon recently made a big hire from ad agency Dentsu to help it take a share of the $70 billion TV-advertising business
  • Amazon has a big leadership hole to fill with the departure of advertising exec Seth Dallaire. Here are five insiders that ad execs say are his likely successor.

How to get a job 

  • Amazon is known for its ruthless interviewing process. We talked to insiders about how to get a job there.
  • Amazon insiders explain the company's unique 'loop' interview system and how it's the ultimate test of whether someone will be a cultural fit
  • Amazon is coming for Madison Avenue's talent, and it could be another blow to embattled agencies and ad-tech companies
  • Amazon wants to disrupt the $100 billion gaming industry, so it's hiring for a 'stealth advertising' engineering team

The coronavirus impact

  • Leaked pitch deck slides from Amazon's Twitch reveal new data about the live-streaming site's audience
  • Amazon has been on an advertising blitz, and it's benefitting platforms like Instagram
  • Amazon's ad business is spiking, but ad buyers say the coronavirus reveals the commerce giant's weaknesses versus Google and Facebook
  • Amazon is cutting rates for a program that splits sales with publishers, and it could be a warning sign for companies like BuzzFeed and Wirecutter that bet big on the e-commerce giant
  • An Amazon-focused agency shares tips for sellers facing turbulent sales under coronavirus
  • 'It's a total bloodbath:' 5 Amazon sellers and experts share stories of turbulent sales amid the coronavirus outbreak

Ad tech's role

  • Meet 18 firms solving companies' giant problems selling and advertising on Amazon
  • Amazon is breeding a new crop of marketing startups, and investors are buying in
  • Amazon is ramping up its pitch for audio ads after long promising Alexa would be ad-free
  • Amazon's new OTT pitch deck shows how the e-commerce giant is letting advertisers use Alexa to market their products
  • An Amazon-focused tech firm has hired a vet of the e-commerce giant to build advertising tools for sellers
  • Amazon is allowing ad-tech companies to sell ads in streaming TV apps, and marketers see it as a sign that the e-commerce giant is becoming less of a walled garden
  • Amazon wants to take on OTT heavyweights like Roku for advertising dollars. Here's the pitch deck it's using to sell marketers video ads.
  • Amazon's pitch deck shows why it could be better positioned than other video streaming services to help marketers reach rich consumers
  • Big brands like Verizon and Toyota are backing Amazon's Freedive as the e-commerce giant pushes deeper into OTT advertising
  • Amazon is acquiring an ad server from bankrupt ad-tech firm Sizmek, giving it a new tool to compete head-on with Google. Here's what it means for marketers.

Ad measurement

  • Amazon started showing a favored metric for advertisers this month, making it easier for large brands to compare ad efficiency against Google and Facebook
  • Amazon is rolling out a tool that shows just how much Google and Facebook ads drive people to do their shopping on the e-commerce site
  • Amazon is pushing harder into video search ads, and industry insiders say it's a direct attack on Google
  • 'It's in this weird middle ground:' Amazon has a new plan to win over big brands with video ads, but agencies aren't buying it
  • Amazon is finally letting brands track traffic from Facebook in its latest effort to cozy up to big marketers

Competition from Walmart, Instacart and others

  • Here's what recent tech job postings tell us about Walmart's push to use advanced tech to take on Amazon in digital advertising
  • Walmart is building a big ad business to rival Amazon, but it's causing friction with some agencies that control a big chunk of the $17 billion market
  • 8 power players at companies like Amazon, Walmart, and Kroger who are making e-commerce advertising into a $17 billion market this year
  • The playbook Instacart is using to build an advertising business, including offering grocery brands perks like shopper data
  • Target's top advertising exec is leaving just as the retailer is assembling its attack on Amazon's ad business
  • Meet the 11 execs who are leading Walmart's advertising push as it tries to take on Amazon
  • Walmart's interest in TikTok's ad business shows its ambitions to take on Amazon. E-commerce insiders detail the strengths and weaknesses of its ad strategy.
  • Walmart is pushing harder into advertising with a new tool that shows if people buy a product after seeing an ad for it
  • Instacart is gearing up to compete with Walmart and Amazon's advertising business as online grocery shopping soars
  • Companies are racing to compete with Google and snap up TV ad dollars. Here are 6 that could try to cash in, including Walmart and The Trade Desk.
  • Walmart is rolling out a self-serve ad platform to compete directly with Amazon for big advertisers

Amazon is launching private labels

  • Amazon's private-label business is on a tear and rival marketers are racing to stay a step ahead of its tactics
  • Many of Amazon's exclusive products look just like other brands you know and love — see them side by side
  • Warren's plan to fight big tech directly threatens one of Amazon's most successful businesses

Other news

  • 7 charts show why Amazon's ad business could balloon to $17 billion this year and is a growing threat to Google
  • Amazon is shutting down a controversial advertising program that lets brands slip samples into delivery boxes
  • Inside Amazon's charm offensive to win over big brand budgets from Madison Avenue
  • Marketers say Amazon's advertising business is difficult to navigate. Here's why the company thinks the 'chaotic' structure actually makes sense.
  • A Wall Street firm says Amazon is stepping up its efforts to win small advertisers with cheaper prices and help from sales reps
  • Amazon is pumping money into Google to promote Prime Day, and it could be a brilliant way to also boost Amazon's own ad business
  • Amazon is opening up ads in AmazonFresh, its Instacart killer, to win over big packaged-goods brands
  • The growth rate of Amazon's ad business is plunging but revenue is still up
  • Digital now makes up the majority of marketers' ad spending, and Amazon is poised to win big as it eats into Google's share
  • Amazon's ad business is set to more than quadruple by 2023 — and Google should be worried
  • Amazon's nascent ad business is bigger than it's ever been — and it's starting to make inroads with big brands
  • 'They should all be worried': Google's move to bring shoppable ads to image searches should terrify Amazon, Instagram, and Pinterest
  • Google's ad business is facing its biggest new threat in years, but for Google's Q1 earnings, Amazon's 'bark is worse than the bite'

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