Amazon to Become #3 in the US by Ad Revenues, Put Small Dent in the Duopoly

September 28, 2018

This article is included in these additional categories:

Advertising Trends | Brand-Related | Digital | Paid Search | Social Media | Top Brands

Amazon is poised to become the third-largest digital advertising platform this year, forecasts eMarketer, with its digital ad revenues doubling to surpass Oath and Microsoft. But while Amazon’s ad business is expected to continue growing at a rapid clip, there won’t be much change to Google and Facebook’s dominance in the short term.

This year eMarketer expects that Amazon will capture 4.1% share of US digital ad spending. Its ad revenue growth has been accelerating of late, though eMarketer cautions that the doubling projected for this year is largely due to an accounting change. Nonetheless, the prediction calls for Amazon’s ad business to grow by more than 50% annually through 2020, when Amazon’s share of US digital ad spend will reach 7%.

Those figures are noteworthy, but don’t yet pose much challenge to the duopoly. This year, eMarketer estimates that Google will capture more than one-third (37.1%) of all digital ad spending, while Facebook will take 20.6% share. That combined 57.7% of total spending is in line with recent estimates from Marin Software, and is also similar to the duopoly’s estimated share (61%) of global digital ad spending in 2017.

Fast forward a couple of years to 2020, and eMarketer believes that Facebook will maintain its share of digital ad spend – at 20.8% – while Google’s will fall a couple of percentage points to 35.1%.

That suggests that Amazon’s increasing share of digital ad spend over the next couple of years might come at the expense of Google rather than Facebook. This makes sense considering that Amazon and Google compete for product search prominence, with Marin Software noting that Amazon “has essentially become a massive search engine for consumers far down the purchase funnel.”

All told, it looks like about two-thirds of Amazon’s expected increase in digital ad share in the next couple of years will come at Google’s expense, with the other third coming from platforms outside of the duopoly.


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