Many data companies with roots in marketing see the AWS Data Exchange as a way to branch into new verticals and non-advertising revenue.
“This partnership opens up a brand new distribution channel for our data amongst a very large client base that are utilizing AWS,” said Stacey Hawes, president of Epsilon’s Data Practice, and an AWS Data Exchange partner.
Amazon competitors such as Salesforce and Microsoft have similar third-party data exchanges.
But the AWS exchange is unique due to its scale across businesses and categories, Hawes said.
PlaceIQ, a location data provider that primarily serves marketers, sees its spot in the AWS exchange as a good way to push data beyond media, said CEO Duncan McCall. The initial applications for location data, like location-based retargeting or proximity tracking in stores, was just the tip of the iceberg in terms of how the data could be used, he said.
Big consultancies and market research companies, private equity investors, government organizations and universities and education institutions are among the industries where location data is in demand, but executives or officials don’t turn to the mar tech ecosystem.
“Amazon’s new Data Exchange is ideal for us to identify and strengthen relationships with industries that we don't often connect with, including life sciences, real estate and the public sector,” said Foursquare SVP of product Josh Cohen.
Almost 90% of the data economy right now is tied to marketing – meaning the data is used for ad campaigns or ad analytics – said Matt Habiger, chief data scientist at TruFactor, a subsidiary of the mobile ad company InMobi and an AWS Data Exchange launch partner. Amazon’s new exchange could help shift that toward government services, telcos, urban planning and retail, where there’s appetite for data outside of advertising.
“I definitely think it’s a meaningful pool of potential new business,” Habiger said, considering AWS’s footprint in cloud computing beyond advertising.
There are other data exchanges and cloud providers, but AWS has the dominant footprint in cloud infrastructure and reaches a long tail of developers, businesses and organizations, he said.
The Google Cloud Platform is more tightly connected to its ad business. Ads Data Hub, the cloud-based ad analytics hub where the Google ad ID can be stored, practically forces many Google ad customers to have Google cloud accounts.
Microsoft Azure, the second most popular cloud infrastructure provider behind AWS, is catching up to Amazon, but still has a 15% market share, compared to Amazon at 48% of the cloud business, according to Gartner’s cloud infrastructure report this year.
McCall said he expects the AWS exchange to grow into a meaningful data distribution channel “given the number and diversity of folks on that platform now able to access the data directly.”