Amazon’s $43B Ad Business, Explained
Amazon’s ad business has grown significantly in recent years, thanks to its first-party data. In Q1 2022, Amazon officially separated its ad business in company filings, and its ad platform is currently on an annual revenue run rate of ~$43B, which is more than the combined revenue of Bing, Snap, Twitter/X, Pinterest, and TikTok. Amazon’s advertising business is worth about $125 billion, more than Nike or IBM, Morgan Stanley estimates. At its core are ads placed on Amazon.com by makers of toilet paper or soap that want to appear near product search results on the site. Amazon’s advertising services leverage what the company knows better than anyone: consumers’ online buying habits. Amazon’s demand-side platform enables tailor-made advertising experiences created together with Amazon Ads account executives. Amazon’s online advertising business continues to grow fast, increasingly challenging digital ad titans like Meta and Google. Amazon now holds 7.3% of the overall online ad market, trailing Alphabet’s Google and Meta-owned Facebook and Instagram.
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Amazon.com is the best-loved company in America, despite being very similar to one of the least-loved companies in America: Walmart.
The Internet megastore had the best public image of any U.S. company in 2013, according to a study released on Monday by YouGov, a market-research firm based in the U.K. YouGov surveyed about 1.2 million people online over the course of 2013 to come up with its rankings, which confirm earlier research: A Harris Interactive poll released in March scored Amazon with the best reputation among large U.S. corporations.
In the Harris poll, Walmart ranked 40th out of 60 total companies, toward the back of the pack with oil drillers and wireless carriers. YouGov only ranked the top 25 U.S. companies, and Walmart did not make that list. YouGov also broke down the five highest-rated discount retailers: Amazon topped that list, too, while Walmart did not appear.
In fact, many people despise Walmart, and have for years, as a torrent of bad press has weighed on its public image. Walmart’s bad rep began when it systematically squashed family-owned shops during its rapid national expansion in the ‘80s and ‘90s. Since then, Walmart has endured a wave of lawsuits from workers accusing the retailer of gender discrimination, poor health care and wage theft.
Amazon, on the other hand, is loved for the breadth of its inventory and the ease of using its website. People love its convenience.
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Online retailer Zappos has long been known to do things its own way. The customer-service obsessed company calls its executives “monkeys,” has staffers ring cowbells to greet guests, and offers new employees cash to quit as a way to test their loyalty.
The Las Vegas-based retailer is now going even more radical, introducing a new approach to organizing the company. It will eliminate traditional managers, do away with the typical corporate hierarchy and get rid of job titles, at least internally. The company told employees of the change at a year-end meeting, Quartz first reported.
The unusual approach is called a “holacracy.” Developed by a former software entrepreneur, the idea is to replace the traditional corporate chain of command with a series of overlapping, self-governing “circles.” In theory, this gives employees more of a voice in the way the company is run.
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