Can Amazon PWN the Cookieless Ad Market?

Will Twitch & EComm Help Amazon PWN the Cookieless Ad Market?

Move over Big G and Facebook … a little company (well, maybe not so little) called Amazon is nipping at your heels when it comes to digital ad sales. Amazon’s ad business raked in over $15.7 billion in 2020, according to new data from eMarketer. That’s up 53% year-over-year — and it means Amazon now controls just over 10% of the U.S. digital ad market overall.

Buoyed by the strength of its e-commerce focused ad marketplace — one that just grew and grew while we were all stuck shopping from home last year — Amazon was able to steal market share from the duopoly, especially cutting into Big G’s search business. And the buzz around the industry trades is that as the cookie crumbles, we’ll soon be looking at what Digiday calls a new digital ad “triopoly” that includes Amazon.

It’s not just that Amazon’s marketplace powers the company’s rock-solid paid search and display ad business — it’s the fact that its e-commerce pipes give Amazon a steady, voluminous stream of first-party data.

Amazon already makes that data available to advertisers (which is why they flock to the platform for purchase-driven campaigns), but if the company decides to make that data more readily available to publishers that are using its TAM header bidding platform, for example … well then, we’ve got a bit of a game-changer. (Remember back in September, when we told you now was the time to take advantage of TAM?)

With all that data, Amazon could become a true lifeline to media companies that are looking to beef up their own audience targeting capabilities — further bolstering its position as a somewhat “neutral” third-party ad tech alternative to Google.

But it doesn’t stop there, because Amazon also has video. Brands want CTV/OTT ads? Feel free to buy them on Amazon IMDb TV, its AVOD platform, or via the wide array of Fire TV devices that reach over 40 million users.

And last but not least is Twitch. Of course, I’m biased as a Twitch devotee, but you don’t need to be a fan to do the math: Advertisers can already buy in-stream display and video ads programmatically … if you add in a healthy dose of first-party data (because Twitch users have to create profiles and sign in to watch the streams), well then Amazon could really be on its way to PWNing the cookie-less ad market.