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.

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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

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How small businesses got stiffed by the coronavirus pandemic

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The story of American businesses in the coronavirus pandemic is a tale of two markets — one made up of tech firms and online retailers as winners awash in capital, and another of brick-and-mortar mom-and-pop shops that is collapsing.

Why it matters: The coronavirus pandemic has created an environment where losing industries like traditional retail and hospitality as well as a sizable portion of firms owned by women, immigrants and people of color are wiped out and may be gone for good.

Apple's antitrust fight turns Epic

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Millions of angry gamers may soon join the chorus of voices calling for an antitrust crackdown on Apple, as the iPhone giant faces a new lawsuit and PR blitz from Epic Games, maker of mega-hit Fortnite.

Why it matters: Apple is one of several Big Tech firms accused of violating the spirit, if not the letter, of antitrust law. A high-profile lawsuit could become a roadmap for either building a case against tech titans under existing antitrust laws or writing new ones better suited to the digital economy.

Survey: Fears grow about Social Security’s future

Data: AARP survey of 1,441 U.S. adults conducted July 14–27, 2020 a ±3.4% margin of error at the 95% confidence level; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

Younger Americans are increasingly concerned that Social Security won't be enough to wholly fall back on once they retire, according to a survey conducted by AARP — in honor of today's 85th anniversary of the program — given first to Axios.

Why it matters: Young people's concerns about financial insecurity once they're on a restricted income are rising — and that generation is worried the program, which currently pays out to 65 million beneficiaries, won't be enough to sustain them.