Insider Intelligence delivers leading-edge research to clients in a variety of forms, including full-length reports and data visualizations to equip you with actionable takeaways for better business decisions.
In-depth analysis, benchmarks and shorter spotlights on digital trends.
Learn More
Interactive projections with 10k+ metrics on market trends, & consumer behavior.
Learn More
Proprietary data and over 3,000 third-party sources about the most important topics.
Learn More
Industry KPIs
Industry benchmarks for the most important KPIs in digital marketing, advertising, retail and ecommerce.
Learn More
Client-only email newsletters with analysis and takeaways from the daily news.
Learn More
Analyst Access Program
Exclusive time with the thought leaders who craft our research.
Learn More

About Insider Intelligence

Our goal at Insider Intelligence is to unlock digital opportunities for our clients with the world’s most trusted forecasts, analysis, and benchmarks. Spanning five core coverage areas and dozens of industries, our research on digital transformation is exhaustive.
Our Story
Learn more about our mission and how Insider Intelligence came to be.
Learn More
Rigorous proprietary data vetting strips biases and produces superior insights.
Learn More
Our People
Take a look into our corporate culture and view our open roles.
Join the Team
Contact Us
Speak to a member of our team to learn more about Insider Intelligence.
Contact Us
See our latest press releases, news articles or download our press kit.
Learn More
Advertising & Sponsorship Opportunities
Reach an engaged audience of decision-makers.
Learn More
Browse our upcoming and past events, recent podcasts, and other featured resources.
Learn More
Tune in to eMarketer's daily, weekly, and monthly podcasts.
Learn More

Amazon’s ad business is profitable, but it’s freezing hiring anyway

The news: Amazon pulled in a record $9.48 billion in ad revenues last quarter, but the retail ecommerce giant is freezing hiring in its advertising business ahead of what it expects to be a tepid holiday shopping season. The company will fill vacant positions but will not create any new ones, Bloomberg reports.

The slowdown: Amazon’s stock has fallen sharply since it forecasted a sales growth slowdown for the holiday period. The company has seen signs of a consumer spending slowdown for some time, and is curbing hiring to eke out as much profit as possible in the year’s final quarter.

  • Advertisers have been watching consumer spending carefully in recent months, waiting for a cool down given extraordinarily high inflation. And while we still expect holiday spending to grow about 7%, there will be more spending on experiences and less on retail.
  • Amazon has already felt that effect. Its second Prime Day last month paled in comparison to the first—with households spending 40% less, per data analysis from Klover.
  • The holiday sales period has also gotten longer, diluting the effectiveness of holiday advertising. Forty-five percent of merchants said they’re encouraging consumers to start shopping earlier. When holiday discounts and deals stretch out over the season, the sense of urgency disappears, causing consumers to spend less or wait longer to buy.
  • All these factors will likely contribute to Amazon merchants spending less to advertise on the platform this holiday season.

Amazon’s ad takeover: Still, even with a slower-than-usual holiday shopping season, it’s still surprising to see Amazon hit the pause button on its profitable, growing advertising business.

  • It’s been a tough year for advertising across the board, but particularly for Big Tech companies like Meta that have seen revenues tumble due to economic concerns and addressability issues in the digital ad market. But Amazon has managed to not only stay in the green but grow its ad market share.
  • In the US, we forecast that Amazon will have the third-highest ad revenues of any company ($29.11 billion), behind Meta and Google.
  • Many ad companies overstaffed during the pandemic and then had to implement mass layoffs. Amazon itself is guilty of that, having ramped up hiring to meet pandemic demand and then finding itself overstaffed when the market cooled.

Our take: Amazon’s ad business isn’t going anywhere, but concerns about end-of-year spending and a general economic downturn are leading the company to slow its roll.

  • Fewer hires may mean that Amazon will take more time to launch new ad products and tools, but it also means that it can squeeze out more profits and won’t have to undertake a heavy course correction if the economy worsens.