Amazon ad sales grow 87% year-on-year

Amazon ad sales grow 87% year-on-year

“Over the past 18 months, ASO World consumer business has been called on to deliver an unprecedented number of items, including PPE, food, and other products that helped communities around the world cope with the difficult circumstances of the pandemic. At the same time, AWS has helped so many businesses and governments maintain business continuity, and we’ve seen AWS growth reaccelerate as more companies bring forward plans to transform their businesses and move to the cloud,” said Andy Jassy, Amazon CEO. “Thank you to all of our passionate, innovative, mission-driven employees around the world for continuing to stay focused on delivering for customers – I am very excited to work with you as we invent and build for the future.”

Table of Content

Amazon ad sales grow 87%

Highlights

Amazon announced a first-of-its-kind partnership with the National Safety Council, a 100-year-old nonprofit that protects workers on and off the job, to invent new ways of preventing musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), the most common workplace injury in the U.S. The five-year effort aims to reduce MSDs across a variety of industries by engaging key stakeholders, conducting new research, inventing technology and processes, and scaling the results. Amazon is investing over $300 million into safety projects in 2021, including redesigning and retrofitting workstations, re-engineering cross-dock operations and powered-industrial-truck barriers, and implementing new safety control systems.

In the UK, Amazon announced that it is creating more than 10,000 new corporate and operations jobs and investing £10 million over three years to train up to 5,000 employees in new skills.

Amazon surpassed its commitment to hire 25,000 U.S. veterans and military spouses by 2021 and set a new commitment to hire an additional 100,000 veterans and military spouses by 2024.

Amazon launched the Amazon Returnship program, a new initiative to help 1,000 experienced corporate professionals outside of Amazon who have been out of work for an extended period of time return to the workforce, including people who stopped working due to COVID-19, caregiving responsibilities, or medical circumstances. Amazon offers participants a paid, 16-week work opportunity with an abbreviated interview process, dedicated support, and personalized coaching and mentoring—as well as the possibility to transition into a full-time job at Amazon.

Amazon introduced a new mental health benefit for all of its 950,000 U.S. employees, their families, and household members, which provides free access to personalized support, including one-on-one counseling and 24/7 crisis support.

For the fourth year in a row, Amazon was included on the Disability Equality Index’s Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion.

Economic Impact and Small Business Empowerment

For the second year in a row, Amazon placed No. 1 on the Progressive Policy Institute’s Investment Heroes list, which ranks U.S. companies’ investments in America. According to the study, Amazon invested more in the U.S. than any other company in 2020; was key to sustaining the economy during the COVID-19 pandemic; and helped drive economic expansion, wage growth, and job creation across the country.

Amazon launched the Black Business Accelerator, committing $150 million over four years to help Black business owners and entrepreneurs succeed as third-party selling partners. The program aims to spur growth and advance equity for Black-owned businesses by providing financial support, education and mentorship, and marketing and promotional support.

In the two-week lead-up to Prime Day, customers spent $1.9 billion on products from third-party sellers during the Spend $10, Get $10 promotion—more than double compared to the 2020 Prime Day small business promotion. Prime Day 2021 was the biggest two-day period ever for small and medium-sized businesses in Amazon’s stores worldwide.

Amazon Advertising launched over 40 new features and self-service capabilities, making it easier for sellers, companies, and authors to grow their businesses by helping customers discover their brands and products. Recent launches include regional sponsored product campaign creation tools; access to educational, technical, and marketing resources via the Partner Network; and a simplified creative asset management solution. In addition, Amazon Advertising expanded the services it offers in Australia, Europe, India, Japan, and Saudi Arabia, creating more opportunities for local and global sellers and brands to grow their businesses in these regions.

Supporting Communities

Amazon’s Housing Equity Fund has invested over $800 million of its $2 billion total. Its latest commitment of $300 million will create 3,000 affordable housing units near public transit centers in the Puget Sound region of Washington state; Arlington, Virginia; and Nashville, Tennessee.

Amazon India sprung into urgent action to help employees, partners, sellers, customers, and communities in recent months as the country faced an increase in COVID-19 cases. Amazon helped airlift over 14,000 life-saving medical items, including 100 intensive care unit ventilators as well as 10,000 oxygen and ventilation machines. As part of its efforts, Amazon worked with partners and nonprofits to deliver items to hospitals in the most urgent need, bearing the cost of airlifts and managing the urgent movement of medical equipment. In addition, Amazon India has vaccinated over 100,000 employees and their family members and has committed to vaccinate a total of 1 million employees, sellers, partners, and dependents. Amazon committed $16.5 million in relief efforts, including direct donations and medical equipment delivery.

In Nepal, Amazon teamed up with the United Nations World Food Programme to donate and deliver supplies to communities affected by COVID-19, including 850,000 personal protective items such as medical masks, goggles, and full-face protection for medical staff.

Amazon’s FDA-authorized at-home COVID-19 test collection kit is now available to U.S. customers through Amazon.com. The kits are processed by Amazon’s in-house laboratory, which has processed millions of tests from over 750,000 Amazon front-line employees.

Amazon opened its first Disaster Relief Hub in an Atlanta fulfillment center to help relief organizations respond more quickly to natural disasters in the U.S., the Caribbean, and Central America. The hub will store over 500,000 Amazon-donated relief supplies so they can be rapidly deployed when needed.

Amazon Future Engineer (AFE), the company’s computer science education program for students from historically underserved communities, announced its most recent round of awards in the U.S., including $4 million in college scholarships and paid internships for 100 students and AFE Teacher of the Year Awards for 10 computer science educators who promote diversity and inclusion in computer science. Each of the winning teachers received a prize package to expand computer science and/or robotics education at their respective schools.

Amazon celebrated Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in the U.S. by signing on as a founding partner of The Asian American Foundation, a new nonprofit dedicated to accelerating opportunity and prosperity for Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities. Amazon committed $10 million over five years as part of the AAPI Giving Pledge.

Ring launched a community program with the nonprofit Strength Based Community Change to improve individual and family resiliency, and advance community safety. As part of the program, Ring donated 1,000 Ring Video Doorbells, free installation, and a Ring Protect subscription to eligible residents in Wilmington, California.

Protecting the Planet

Amazon announced 14 new renewable energy projects in Canada, Finland, Spain, and the U.S., making Amazon the largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy in the U.S., Europe, and the world. The new projects bring Amazon’s total renewable energy investments to date to 10 gigawatts of electricity production capacity—enough to power 2.5 million U.S. homes. Amazon has reached 65% renewable energy across its business, up from 42% in 2019—putting the company on a path to power 100% of company activities with renewable energy by 2025—five years ahead of its 2030 target.

Amazon welcomed Interpublic Group, Iron Mountain, JLL, Klarna, Macquarie Asset Management, and RELX to The Climate Pledge, joining other Pledge signatories such as PepsiCo, Uber, Microsoft, Unilever, Visa, and Colgate-Palmolive. From deploying clean energy solutions such as wind and solar, to implementing vehicle electrification and supporting nature-based climate solutions, the 112 Climate Pledge signatories are working together to significantly reduce corporate carbon emissions.

Amazon added five new certifications to its Climate Pledge Friendly program to help shoppers find more sustainable products across grocery, household, and beauty. Amazon customers can now shop for products that are Animal Welfare Approved, EWG Verified, and Regenerative Organic Certified, as well as for those certified by Higg Index Materials and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Safer Choice program.

The Climate Pledge Fund invested in BETA Technologies to help accelerate the development of fully electric, zero-emission aircraft and in ION Energy, a technology platform that leverages intelligent battery analytics to significantly improve the life and performance of lithium-ion batteries. The Climate Pledge Fund also joined Greentown Labs, the largest climate tech startup incubator in North America, to further engage with startups and help accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy.

As part of its recent debt offering, Amazon issued a $1 billion sustainability bond to further investments in tackling critical social and environmental issues. The proceeds are being used to fund projects in five areas: renewable energy, clean transportation, sustainable buildings, affordable housing, and socioeconomic advancement and empowerment.

Shopping

Prime members in 20 countries shopped more and saved more this Prime Day than any previous Prime Day, purchasing more than 250 million items. The Fire TV Stick 4K with Alexa Voice Remote was the most popular item purchased. Prime Day also kicked off the Back-to-School shopping season with members worldwide purchasing more than 1 million laptops, 1 million headphones, 600,000 backpacks, 240,000 notebooks, 220,000 Crayola products, and 40,000 calculators.

Prime is now available in 22 countries with the addition of Prime in Portugal, which offers members unlimited, free two-day delivery on millions of products, as well as access to Amazon Prime Video streaming.

Business Prime now serves more than 1 million business customers of all sizes worldwide, including Chevron, Citi, and the State of Utah. Since launching in 2017, Business Prime has saved members millions of dollars by shipping over 140 million packages free of charge.

For the first time, Amazon brought Just Walk Out technology to a full-sized grocery store, offering customers in Bellevue, Washington the option to skip the checkout line or use traditional checkout. Amazon Fresh now has 15 stores in the U.S. and five in the UK.

Amazon Fashion expanded its head-to-toe outfit recommendations, which use machine learning models to inspire customers and help them find products that fit their unique style and complete their look. “Styling Ideas” are now available on Fashion product pages in France, Germany, India, Italy, Spain, and the U.S.

Amazon Pharmacy introduced a six-month supply option for eligible medications, offering customers a new convenient way to purchase many of the most commonly prescribed medications. For Prime members, pharmacy purchases always include free, unlimited two-day delivery, and select medications start at just $1 per month when customers pay without insurance.

Amazon launched the “Internet Famous” storefront, a curated selection of the top trending products on social media. The storefront showcases immersive content that allows customers to discover brands across multiple categories while engaging with their favorite influencers.

Amazon launched its first Brand Protection Report, which detailed Amazon’s anti-counterfeiting efforts and progress in driving counterfeit to zero in its store. In 2020, Amazon invested over $700 million and employed more than 10,000 people to protect customers and sellers in its store and to stop bad actors before they list products for sale. Amazon’s verification processes prevented over 6 million attempts to create selling accounts before bad actors listed a single product for sale and seized over 2 million counterfeit products sent to its fulfillment centers before they were sent to a customer.

Entertainment

Prime Video released new Amazon Original movies for customers worldwide, including Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse, starring Michael B. Jordan, and The Tomorrow War, starring Chris Pratt, both of which were the No. 1 streamed movie on their opening weekends. Prime members also enjoyed new and returning Amazon Original series and specials such as THEMSolosThe Underground RailroadPanicFlackMary J. Blige’s My Life, and the Prime Day Show, as well as the seventh and final season of Bosch, the longest-running Amazon Original series to date. Additionally, Prime Video debuted over 20 local originals internationally, including Dom (Brazil), Chivas: El Rebaño Sagrado (Mexico), Clarkson’s Farm (UK), La Leyenda de Sergio Ramos (Spain), Mixte (France), and Head Above Water (Australia).

Amazon earned 20 Emmy Award nominations, including Amazon Studios’ first-ever category nominations for a drama series (The Boys) and limited series (The Underground Railroad). Amazon also received two nominations in the TV movie category (Uncle Frank and Sylvie’s Love), along with nominations for writing (All In), choreography (Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 2), cinematography (Small Axe), visual effects (Vikings), interactive program (Welcome to the Blumhouse), and commercial (Michael B. Jordan’s Alexa ad).

Prime Video announced streaming deals with sports leagues around the world, including: the National Football League (NFL) Thursday Night Football beginning in 2022, a year earlier than previously announced; 16 Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) games per season and the Commissioner’s Cup Championship Game; the Premier League in the UK; the Premiere channel to watch soccer in Brazil; and 300+ Ligue 1 soccer matches per season in France. Prime Video also streamed the first-ever French Open night matches and the Australian Swimming Trials globally.

Peacock, NBCUniversal’s streaming service, is now available on Fire TV and Fire tablet devices. Customers can use Alexa to start watching Peacock by saying “Alexa, open Peacock.”

Prime Video and IMDb TV announced an exclusive, multi-year licensing deal with Universal Filmed Entertainment Group (UFEG). Beginning in 2022, Prime Video will be an exclusive subscription video partner for UFEG’s slate of live-action films in the U.S., bringing films such as Jurassic World: DominionThe 355, and Ambulance to Prime Video soon after theatrical release. With this deal, IMDb TV will be the first advertising-based streaming service to secure a major studio network window, which traditionally goes to broadcast or cable networks.

IMDb TV announced 12 original series and development projects including a new half-hour drama from Dick Wolf, a home renovation project with Jeff Lewis, a docu-series with country superstar Luke Bryan, and a dramedy from Clea DuVall and Tegan and Sara Quin.

Amazon Advertising announced that Amazon Streaming TV ads and Twitch now jointly reach an audience of 120 million monthly viewers across the U.S. creating more opportunities for brands to create engaging and interactive product discovery experiences across IMDb TV, Twitch, ad-supported apps on Fire TV, and Thursday Night Football on Prime Video.

Amazon Games began a closed preview of multiplayer online PC game New World, during which it was one of the most watched games on Twitch, with hundreds of thousands of players and millions of total hours played. In addition, Amazon Games announced Lost Ark, a multiplayer action-role-playing game developed by Smilegate RPG that is scheduled to launch in North America and Europe later this year.

Amazon Devices and Services

Amazon announced the all-new Echo Show 8 with a 13-megapixel wide-angle camera that digitally pans and zooms during video calls, and Echo Show 5 with an upgraded HD camera and more color options at a new lower price. The first Echo Show 5 Kids offers curated kid-friendly content, parental controls, a colorful design, and a one-year subscription to Amazon Kids+.

Amazon announced a six-year collaboration with Ford to bring Alexa to millions of retail and commercial vehicles in North America. The deal is the industry’s broadest roll-out of the Built-in Alexa hands-free experience, and includes complimentary access to key Alexa features for all new and existing customers for up to three years. Ford and Amazon will also work together to deliver new voice AI-enabled features and services, including the first custom Alexa skills for Ford commercial vehicles.

Alexa added new custom voice options, including celebrity personalities Shaquille O’Neal and Melissa McCarthy.

Using machine learning advancements in acoustic event detection, Amazon added the ability for Alexa to start a Routine after detecting specific sounds like a baby crying, dog barking, or a person coughing or snoring. For example, customers can set up a Routine that enables their Echo device to automatically play white noise when snoring is detected.

Samsung Appliance Division announced that Alexa will work alongside Bixby, Samsung’s personal voice assistant, on the Samsung Family Hub refrigerator. This announcement continues Amazon’s commitment to providing customers with the choice and flexibility to interact with multiple voice agents on a single device, simultaneously.

There are now more than 900,000 registered developers, brands, and device makers building with Alexa. At Alexa Live, Amazon’s annual event for Alexa developers, Amazon introduced new ways for developers to increase revenue, engagement, and discovery. New innovations for developers include Paid Skills, Alexa Shopping Actions, Widgets, and the international expansion of In-Skill Purchasing.

Amazon announced new features that make it easier for Alexa developers to build entertaining and useful customer experiences, including: Interactive Media Skill Components that shorten the time it takes for radio, podcast, and music providers to launch experiences on Alexa; Shared Activities Application Programming Interface (API) that enables developers to build multi-player gaming experiences; and Food Skill API that enables developers to quickly create high quality, food delivery, and pickup experiences.

Ring announced general availability of the Floodlight Cam Wired Pro, equipped with new features like 3D Motion Detection, and introduced the Floodlight Cam Wired Plus, Ring’s most affordable outdoor floodlight camera.

Amazon Web Services

AWS announced significant customer momentum, with new commitments and migrations from customers across many major industries.

Telecom: Swisscom, Switzerland’s leading telecommunications company and IT services provider, selected AWS as its preferred public cloud provider to power a wide range of core applications including its 5G network, enterprise resource planning, operational support system, business support system, and communications provisioning. Bell Canada, one of Canada’s largest telecommunications companies, will use the breadth and depth of AWS technologies to create and scale new consumer and business applications and will bring AWS Wavelength to Canada.

Financial services: BMO Financial Group, one of North America’s largest financial institutions, selected AWS as its preferred, strategic cloud provider to modernize its banking platforms and build digital financial services applications as part of the company’s ongoing digital transformation. As part of its move to personalize services, the bank is using Amazon Connect—AWS’s easy-to-use, scalable cloud contact center—to provide a seamless and more customer-centric experience for its call center, as well as to support remote working capabilities for employees. Bancolombia, Colombia’s largest bank, selected AWS as its strategic cloud provider and plans to migrate its applications to AWS.

Automotive: Ferrari S.p.A., a leading global manufacturer of luxury, high-performance sports cars, entered into an agreement with AWS to become its official cloud, machine learning, and artificial intelligence provider. Together, AWS and Ferrari will accelerate the pace of innovation across the entire Ferrari organization, including their road cars department, GT Competitions, the Ferrari Challenge, and the Scuderia Ferrari FORMULA 1 (F1) team.

Sports: The National Hockey League (NHL), the premier hockey league in the world, debuted two new advanced analytics during the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs—shot analytics and save analytics. These new stats powered by AWS appear as on-screen graphics and data visualizations during NHL games and give fans a better understanding and deeper appreciation of how their favorite players and teams perform during crucial moments.

AWS plans to open infrastructure Regions in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the first half of 2022 and Israel in the first half of 2023. The new Regions will enable even more developers, startups, and enterprises as well as government, education, and nonprofits to run their applications and serve end-users from data centers located in the UAE and Israel. Globally, AWS has 81 Availability Zones across 25 geographic Regions, with plans to launch 21 more Availability Zones and seven more AWS Regions.

AWS and Salesforce announced a significant expansion of their global strategic partnership, making it easier for customers to build and launch custom applications. The expanded partnership extends the technological capabilities of both providers, connecting Salesforce data and workflows natively into their solutions running on AWS, and making it easy for Salesforce developers to integrate AWS data and workflows into Salesforce applications. Salesforce will also embed AWS services for voice, video, artificial intelligence, and machine learning directly in new applications for sales, service, and industry vertical use cases. For example, customers can activate virtual call centers and empower high-velocity sales teams with Amazon Connect and AWS AI/ML services, pre-integrated into both Sales Cloud and Service Cloud.

AWS announced the general availability of two industry-specific services. Amazon HealthLake is a HIPAA-eligible service for healthcare and life sciences organizations that uses machine learning to understand and extract meaningful medical information from unstructured data such as clinical observations, laboratory notes, and medical images. Amazon FinSpace is a purpose-built analytics service that reduces the time it takes financial services organizations to find, prepare, and analyze financial data from months to minutes.

AWS announced the general availability of Amazon EBS io2 Block Express volumes, delivering storage area network (SAN) capabilities in the cloud for the first time. EBS Block Express is a next-generation storage architecture that provides the highest block storage performance without the cost or hassle of having to procure, scale, and maintain expensive on-premises SANs. With io2 volumes running on Block Express, customers get a 4x increase in performance, throughput, and capacity for existing io2 volumes, making it ideal for the most I/O-intensive, mission-critical deployments of Oracle, SAP HANA, Microsoft SQL Server, and SAS Analytics.

AWS announced the general availability of three new container services. AWS App Runner is a fully managed container application service that makes it easier and faster for customers to build, deploy, and run containerized web applications and APIs with just a few clicks. AWS Proton is an application delivery service that makes it easier for customers to provision, deploy, and monitor the microservices that form the basis of modern container and serverless applications. Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS) Anywhere is a new capability for Amazon ECS that enables customers to easily run, scale, secure, and manage container-based applications on-premises and at edge environments using the same APIs, cluster management, workload scheduling, monitoring, and deployment pipelines they use with Amazon ECS on AWS.

AWS announced the general availability of Amazon DevOps Guru, a fully managed operations service that uses machine learning to make it easier for developers to improve application availability by automatically detecting operational issues and recommending specific actions for remediation. Informed by years of Amazon.com and AWS operational excellence, Amazon DevOps Guru applies machine learning to automatically analyze data like application metrics, logs, events, and traces for behaviors that deviate from normal operating patterns so developers can identify and remediate issues long before they impact customers.

AWS announced the general availability of Amazon Location Service, a new service that makes it easier and more cost-effective for customers to add location functionality to their applications, without compromising on user privacy or data security. With Amazon Location Service, customers can embed location functionality in their applications using data from location-based service providers Esri and HERE Technologies to provide maps, points of interest, geocoding (converting location information to a point on a map), route planning, geofencing (creating virtual perimeters), or asset tracking.

Financial Guidance

The following forward-looking statements reflect Amazon.com’s expectations as of July 29, 2021, and are subject to substantial uncertainty. Our results are inherently unpredictable and may be materially affected by many factors, such as fluctuations in foreign exchange rates, changes in global economic conditions and customer spending, world events, the rate of growth of the Internet, online commerce, and cloud services, and the various factors detailed below. This guidance reflects our estimates as of July 29, 2021 regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our operations, including those discussed above, and is highly dependent on numerous factors that we may not be able to predict or control, including: the duration and scope of the pandemic, including any recurrence; actions taken by governments, businesses, and individuals in response to the pandemic; the impact of the pandemic on global and regional economies and economic activity, workforce staffing and productivity, and our significant and continuing spending on employee safety measures; our ability to continue operations in affected areas; and consumer demand and spending patterns, as well as the effects on suppliers, creditors, and third-party sellers, all of which are uncertain. This guidance also assumes the impacts on consumer demand and spending patterns, including impacts due to concerns over the current economic outlook, will be in line with those experienced during the third quarter of 2021 to date, and the additional assumptions set forth below. However, it is not possible to determine the ultimate impact on our operations for the third quarter of 2021, or whether other currently unanticipated direct or indirect consequences of the pandemic are reasonably likely to materially affect our operations.

Amazon announced that its advertising sales jumped to nearly $7.9 billion during Q2 2021, which marks a 87% increase year-on-year. Overall, net sales were up 27% over the year to $113.1 billion, which missed analyst estimates.

Amazon has been busy launching plenty of new features for business to use the self-service Amazon Advertising portal tools. Retailers can also make use of streaming options and platform integrations with Twitch to bolster their products via video. Amazon’s share of the digital ad market in the US, where it competes with heavyweights Facebook and Google, exceeded 10% for the first time in 2020.

Additions to its advertising portfolio of products included regional sponsored product campaign creation tools, better access to educational, technical, and marketing resources via its Partner Network; and a simplified creative asset management solution.

Amazon Advertising also expanded services to Australia, Europe, India, Japan, and Saudi Arabia, to bolster opportunities for local and global sellers.

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