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Amazon’s ad business will bring in $4.61 billion this year, according to a new eMarketer study, up a whopping 60% from the projection of $2.89 billion in March.

Why it matters: The new projection puts Amazon ahead of Microsoft in its share of the U.S. digital ad market. While it's still a distant third behind Google and Facebook, Amazon's share is growing so fast that some analysts argue it could one day catch up with those leaders.

Expand chart
Reproduced from eMarketer; Axios Visuals

The bigger picture: The news comes just weeks after Amazon surpassed $1 trillion in market value. Some analysts predict Amazon's ad business is growing so fast that it will overtake its lucrative cloud business, Amazon Web Services, in just two years.

Strong growth in product search and insight into consumer purchase behavior are what eMarketer’s senior director of forecasting Monica Peart cites as fueling Amazon's recent ad growth.

“That increased search traffic gives third-party sellers a reason to increase bids for keywords on Amazon."
— Monica Peart

Between the lines: Amazon's advertising business has quickly become one of its fastest-growing business units, and it will continue to expand as Amazon invests more in video, ad sales staff and ad technology.

  • The company has been doubling down on video ads and ads on its streaming platform Twitch.
  • Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky has previously told investors of accelerated growth in hiring for Amazon's ad sales and web services teams.

Sound smart: Amazon has reportedly been pitching ad buyers to buy ads on its platforms by saying that they are more "brand safe" or less risky than buying ads on big social media platforms, like Google's YouTube and Facebook.

  • Both Facebook and YouTube have faced advertiser boycotts because of advertisers' concern about having their ads placed next to objectionable content, like terrorist videos.

Go deeper: Amazon's big advertising push

Go deeper

GOP implosion: Trump threats, payback

Spotted last week on a work van in Evansville, Ind. Photo: Sam Owens/The Evansville Courier & Press via Reuters

The GOP is getting torn apart by a spreading revolt against party leaders for failing to stand up for former President Trump and punish his critics.

Why it matters: Republican leaders suffered a nightmarish two months in Washington. Outside the nation’s capital, it's even worse.

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

The limits of Biden's plan to cancel student debt

Data: New York Fed Consumer Credit Panel/Equifax; Chart: Axios Visuals

There’s a growing consensus among Americans who want President Biden to cancel student debt — but addressing the ballooning debt burden is much more complicated than it seems.

Why it matters: Student debt is stopping millions of Americans from buying homes, buying cars and starting families. And the crisis is rapidly getting worse.

Why made-for-TV moments matter during the pandemic

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Erin Schaff-Pool, Biden Inaugural Committee via Getty Images

In a world where most Americans are isolated and forced to laugh, cry and mourn without friends or family by their side, viral moments can offer critical opportunities to unite the country or divide it.

Driving the news: President Biden's inauguration was produced to create several made-for-social viral moments, a tactic similar to what the Democratic National Committee and the Biden campaign pulled off during the Democratic National Convention.