Trend overview

Amazon is the world's largest internet retailer and one of the biggest companies on the planet, with $136bn in annual revenues and a market value which has topped $500bn. Around 80 million US households are members of Amazon Prime, the company's subscription service offering speedy product shipping alongside audio and video content streaming services – a membership that will likely soon overtake the 90 million currently paying for satellite or cable TV.

Despite its huge scale, Amazon's advertising business is far smaller than that of leading media companies. Yet many experts believe the company has the potential to break Google and Facebook's dominance of the digital ad market.

Amazon does not reveal detailed figures, but eMarketer estimates it will earn $1.8bn from advertising in 2017, rising to $2.3bn in 2018 and $2.8bn in 2019. Each total represents less than 1% of Amazon's projected annual revenues. Some industry observers, however, are predicting a more rapid expansion for its ad business. In February, Morgan Stanley issued a note stating that it believes Amazon's advertising revenues will reach $7bn by 2020, representing a 4% share of the US digital ad sector.