Amazon's Share Of Digital Advertising Grows; Roku To Debut Brand-Sponsored Vids

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Grabbing Share

Watch out, Google and Facebook – Amazon is catching up. According to eMarketer, Amazon’s share of the digital ad market in the United States grew to 10.3% last year, up from 7.8% in 2019, The Wall Street Journal reports. It’s expected to make up 10.7% of the US digital ad market this year, growing to 11.9% in 2022 and 12.8% in 2023. As Amazon continues to gain on market leaders Google and Facebook, it’s a sign that brands are increasingly turning to the ecommerce giant to help them reach an expanding base of online shoppers. Amazon’s US ad revenue last year grew to $15.7 billion, up 52.5% from 2019, and while its digital ad share is still relatively small compared to its tech platform cousins, Amazon is quickly becoming a viable competitor on the advertising front. Nearly 90% of Amazon’s ad revenue was driven by ads that appeared on the company’s e-commerce platform, with search ads for sponsored products and brands accounting for a large percentage of that revenue.

Highly Recommended

Roku is making big moves lately. Last month it acquired Nielsen’s advanced video advertising business, and now has its sights set on brand-sponsored videos to promote programming across its CTV platform. Per Digiday, Roku has been busy pitching agency executives about a new offering called Roku Recommends, set to roll out in Q2 or Q3. The company is asking advertisers to pay in the low to mid-six figures to sponsor videos. Roku Recommends can accommodate one sponsor at a time, although it’s unclear how often Roku will rotate in new sponsors. Roku is not commenting, but agency executives believe that Roku Recommends could help the platform attract advertiser interest during this year’s upfront negotiations because of the format’s limited availability. Executives said they expect programming from major streaming services, such as Netflix, Disney+ and HBO Max, to be included as well as Roku’s own The Roku Channel, although there are no details just yet on what specific TV shows and movies would be promoted from which services. 

Creative Culture 

TikTok has teamed up with IPG Mediabrands to help agencies and brands understand the platform’s unique culture. CampaignUS reports that the two have entered into a three-year, “first of its kind” global creator partnership … although TikTok also struck an “exclusive” partnership with WPP in early February (but anyway). IPG Mediabrands clients can tap creators hand selected by TikTok in order to get strategic advice, as well as participate in quarterly intensive creator camps with bespoke curriculums. While there will be the typical media/platform trade-offs, like discounts and first looks at new products, Mediabrands says it wanted to do something different that its clients couldn’t find elsewhere. The program aims to give brands that are still finding their way on TikTok a better understanding of how to show up natively and latch on to emerging trends, artists and cultural moments in order to drive sales. “As brands start to work with these creators, it's going to have to be done organically,” said Dani Benowitz, EVP and director of investment at IPG’s Magna Global. “It's going to be less of a paid influencer relationship.”

But Wait, There’s More!

Paywalls are coming to Twitter as platforms adjust to the creator economy. [Adweek]

SpotX saw record performance in 2020 and now reaches 70 Million connected TV households in the US. [release]

GroupM says it’s taking a more responsible approach to media buying and has struck a two-year deal with OZY to further its diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. [Ad Age]

Impact has acquired Affluent to power agency managed partnership programs at scale. [release]

IBM Watson Advertising has announced another year of its “Call for Creative” program to award brands complimentary use of its Accelerator solution. [release]

CTV platform Sabio has launched its Universal Frequency Pixel to address problems like cross-platform transparency in the advertising industry. [release]

You’re Hired!

Shopper Media has hired James Poole for the newly created role of head of platform. [Mumbrella]

 KERV Interactive has brought on technology and media vet Jay Wolff as SVP of revenue. [release]

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