Amazon topped $10 billion in revenue for the advertising side of its business in 2018, as the e-commerce giant invested in its marketing products to entice more brands to spend on its platform and promote their products.
On Thursday, Amazon released its fourth-quarter holiday results, which topped $72 billion in total sales on the e-commerce site, representing a 20 percent increase year over year and beating analyst estimates. Profits hit $3 billion, compared to $1.9 billion a year ago. And advertising continued to be one of the brightest spots for the company, with $3.4 billion posted in its "other" category, which is mostly attributed to ad sales, marking an increase of 95 percent year over year.
Brands and ad agencies have been working closely with Amazon as it builds an ad platform to compete with Google and Facebook, and $10 billion in 2018 makes it the third-largest ad business.
The $10 billion for the year blew away what analysts had previously estimated. At the beginning of last year, eMarketer predicted Amazon would only do $2.8 billion in ad sales.
"There is a reason those two bigger ad companies are now paying close attention," says Will Magaritis, svp of e-commerce at Dentsu-Aegis Network.