One overlooked area of expertise that Jeff Bezos will bring as the new owner of the newspapers he has brought from the Washington Post Company is in advertising. While Bezos’ Amazon is primarily thought of as a retailer, it is also a growing advertising medium, though it doesn’t tout that much. The bulk of its ad revenue comes from ads placed in or near search results that appear when a person searches Amazon for a product.
As the chart above shows, Amazon’s revenues from advertising over the past three years have scaled rapidly. And they have increasingly dwarfed the shrinking revenues from the advertising carried in the print editions of the Washington Post Co.’s newspapers.
Research firm eMarketer estimates that Amazon’s ad revenues in the U.S. alone will top $1 billion by 2015, up from $450 million last year. The company has developed targeting technology, along with creating its own demand-side platform to improve targeting of Amazon buyers on other web properties and devices like Kindles, eMarketer notes — technology that the Post’s old owners could only dream of but which Bezos, though he has bought the Post as a personal investment, could well apply to his new newspapers’ digital properties.