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June 2019

Could Amazon Displace The Duopoly

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Amazon is now the world’s most valuable brand, according to Kantar’s latest BrandZ rankings released this month, with the business having seen a 52% growth in the last year. Compare that to Apple and Google’s modest growth of 3% and 2%, respectively.

This reflects Amazon’s transition from e-commerce king to all-round tech-giant, its Amazon Prime Video, Amazon Music and Amazon Web Services (AWS) offerings having become major revenue drivers. AWS alone is now more profitable than its e-commerce operation.

More customers making more transactions means more data, and with that comes a better ad product.

Having generated $10 billion in ad revenue in 2018, Amazon is already the third-largest digital platform by revenue, behind Google and Facebook. Its ad offering reaches audiences on and off its own platform with display and video formats, plus access to subsidiaries including the IMDb and Kindle.

As a result it is quickly become a threat to the Google/ Facebook ‘duopoly’, with 33% of digital advertisers citing Amazon’s rise as the ‘most impactful’ market trend, and many planning to move large shares of their search budgets from Google into Amazon.

There are reports that Amazon may look to acquire the (recently bankrupt) Sizmek ad-server. Since an ad-server ‘touches’ every impression, this would give Amazon the opportunity to further improve their tech toolset and collect even more data than they already have – as well as learning a thing or two from the Sizmek interface.

An interface update last year has already made the Amazon DSP far more user-friendly, driving adoption from both brands direct and agencies, but there is still room for improvement.

Planning-wise, better data and analytics means better targeting, as well as greater control over what ad is served, where, and when – in a way only an ad-server can offer.

Such an acquisition could mean Amazon stands a chance at becoming market leader, surpassing their biggest rival, Google, by creating their own product stack alongside their DSP and Ad Console (PPC).

With more first-party customer data, an easy to use platform and an ad-server to boot, Amazon may soon have everything from A to Z.