Amazon now 3rd-biggest digital ad seller in US

Amazon is an attractive place for online merchants to advertise because many product searches begin on the site not on Google

That's according to new estimates from eMarketer.

First-place Google and second-place Facebook will control a combined 57.7 percent of U.S. digital ad revenues with 37.1 percent and 20.6 percent respectively, collectively down slightly more than a percent from a year ago, eMarketer forecast.

Online retail colossus Amazon is gaining ground in the USA digital advertising market as the dominance of Google and Facebook erodes, according to an eMarketer forecast released on Wednesday.

Another reason was that people are increasingly turning to Amazon instead of Google to start searching for items they are interested in buying.

Amazon's advertising business is likely to more than double its sales in the USA this year, a market researcher said Wednesday, a jump that would place the company behind only Google and Facebook.

Monica Peart, eMarketer's senior director of forecasting, attributed Amazon's rapid climb up the digital ad rankings to its dominance in online retailing - and all the data that comes along with it.

The Seattle company's USA digital advertising business will likely bring in $4.6 billion in 2018, from an estimated $1.8 billion a year ago, eMarketer said in a forecast Tuesday.

While Amazon just barely nudged Microsoft out of third place, it is on a tear and growing its advertising volume and share faster than the biggest and most established players (see mobile ad growth trajectory below). Google is the leader with a 37.1% share, while Facebook has 20.6%.

Advertising is "now a multibillion-dollar business for us", Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky said on the ecommerce giant's Q2 earnings call July 26. The CFO also noted that global ad sales, while still much smaller than in North America, are growing just as quickly.

Amazon is attractive to advertisers looking for insight into the impact of their ad buys on purchases. It's introducing more video advertising formats and provides advertising options both on and off its owned and operated properties.

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