Amazon’s Ad Business Boxes Out Sellers; Mozilla Tests Switching Default Search Engine

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Gotta Spend Money To Spend Money

Amazon’s ad business is blowing up. You probably knew that already. But that growth for Amazon isn’t a win for many sellers, particularly the early power users on the platform. There is heavy demand for Amazon inventory, with the average cost per click jumping from 86 cents a year ago to $1.27 today, the Amazon agency Canopy tells CNBC. Amazon is opening up huge new swathes of inventory as well. In the past three years, sponsored product ads have gone from 20% of Amazon’s top search result space to more than 40%. But the rates are still going up. And the added inventory is a boon for bigger, legacy store brands, which can box out independent sellers on the platform. Not to mention Amazon aggregator companies that scoop up niche brands and operate their ecommerce advertising. “They’re going from competing against other, smaller sellers to now competing against massive and well-funded sellers,” says Juozas Kaziukenas, CEO of the market research firm Marketplace Pulse. 

In Search Of Search

Mozilla is running a test on 1% of its Firefox desktop browser population switching the default search engine from Google to Microsoft Bing, Ghacks reports. The experiment started in the first week of September and will run through January 2022. Firefox comes with a number of search engines preloaded so the user can toggle on or off, including Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo and regional companies like Yandex in Russia. But this test marks the first time in years that Firefox is even dipping a toe outside of Google, which has a deal with Mozilla to pay between $400 million to $450 million per year to remain as the default Firefox search engine, reportedly through 2023. Mozilla’s quiet Bing review comes as many search engine challengers and browser operators see an opportunity to do the impossible: peel market share away from Google. AdExchanger has more on that. 

In Denial?

Linear television ratings have taken a beating the past year. But will viewership bounce back to pre-pandemic levels? Despite a massive shift to streaming during the pandemic, some broadcasters are optimistic that TV viewers will return in the fall when their “normal” premiere schedules kick off, Adweek reports. Networks need to recoup some of the double-digit audience losses they’ve seen since the pandemic disrupted scheduled programming. However, many industry experts AdExchanger has spoken to in the past year expect new streaming channels, namely CTV and AVOD services, to pull further away from cable. Broadcasters see a rosy glow from the NFL’s solid numbers since the season started two weeks ago. But the NFL is an exception to the rule. The fall TV lineup broadcasters, including ‘new’ shows such as ABC’s reboot of “The Wonder Years” and CBS’s NCIS and CSI spinoffs, may be tough to buoy despite the return of American football fans to their couches. 

But Wait, There’s More!   

The EU raises privacy concerns over Facebook’s new smart glasses. [TechCrunch]

Apple’s ATT is giving the company sway over ad dollars. [Digiday]

Networks (other than NBCUniversal) are testing new measurement providers. [Campaign]

Sports Illustrated expands into gambling with a new sportsbook. [BI]

Omnicom clinches Mercedes-Benz account. [MediaPost]

Is live-stream shopping the future of retail? [WSJ]

You’re Hired

Sendbird hires Sam Zayed as CRO. [Martech Series]

TripleLift taps Steven Berns as COO. [release]

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