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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

Updated 3 hours ago - World

In photos: Pope Francis spreads message of peace on first trip to Iraq

Pope Francis waving as he arrives near the ruins of the Syriac Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception (al-Tahira-l-Kubra), in the old city of Iraq's northern Mosul on March 7. Photo: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP via Getty Images

Pope Francis was on Sunday visiting areas of northern Iraq once held by Islamic State militants.

Why it matters: This is the first-ever papal trip to Iraq. The purpose of Francis' four-day visit is largely intended to reassure the country's Christian minority, who were violently persecuted by ISIS, which controlled the region from 2014-2017.

Cuomo faces fresh misconduct allegations from former aides

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo during a February press conference in New York City. Photo: Seth Wenig/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

The office of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) was on Saturday facing fresh accusations of misconduct against his staff, including further allegations of inappropriate behavior against two more women. His office denies the claims.

Driving the news: The Washington Post reported Cuomo allegedly embraced an aide when he led the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and that two male staffers who worked for him in the governor's office accused him of routinely berating them "with explicit language."

In photos: Protesters rally for George Floyd ahead of Derek Chauvin's trial

Chaz Neal, a Redwing community activist, outside the Minnesota Governor's residence during a protest in support of George Floyd in St.Paul, Minnesota, on March 6. Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

Dozens of protesters were rallying outside the Minnesota governor's mansion in St Paul Saturday, urging justice for George Floyd ahead of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin's trial over the 46-year-old's death.

The big picture: Chauvin faces charges for second-degree murder and manslaughter over Floyd's death last May, which ignited massive nationwide and global protests against racism and for police reform. His trial is due to start this Monday, with jury selection procedures.