Amazon, the biggest US advertiser, is ramping up its ad spend after a coronavirus pause

  • After cutting its advertising in the beginning of the coronavirus, Amazon has ramped up its ad spend.
  • Amazon has spent 70% more year over year since May to promote its core retail business including, Amazon Prime, and Whole Foods, according to MediaRadar.
  • Michael Levine, an analyst at Pivotal Research said the increase shows Amazon's supply chain has steadied since the beginning of the coronavirus when it prioritized shipment of essential products.
  • Amazon is also spending more to promote its non-retail businesses like Amazon Prime Video and Amazon Prime Music as the streaming wars heat up.
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Amazon is increasing its advertising again after slashing it in response to coronavirus-related demand.

The e-commerce giant cut spending on Google ads in March as demand soared for essential items like masks, hand sanitizer, and toilet paper.

New data from three ad-tracking companies shows Amazon's advertising spend has since increased. The top-spending US marketer last year, spending $7 billion, according to Kantar and AdAge DataCenter, also pumped money into promoting its media products such as Amazon Prime Video as the streaming wars heat up.

Michael Levine, an analyst at Pivotal Research, said the increase shows Amazon's supply chain has steadied since the beginning of the coronavirus, when Amazon stopped accepting nonessential items from sellers to focus on high-demand categories like baby products and grocery and cut spending to avoid pushing more people to the website.

"If they cooled off on spend and are turning the gas back up, it says to me that they're in a better position from a fulfillment perspective," he said. 

Amazon spending on its core retail business that includes, Amazon Prime, and Whole Foods increased 70% year over year since May, according to MediaRadar.

Meanwhile, Kantar and Pathmatics data shows that Amazon's ad-buying has increased across the board.

Kantar, which does not track digital or social media ad spend, said Amazon spent $144 million in May, up from $101 million in April, but down from $192 million in January.

Instagram got a particularly big boost. Amazon spent $22 million on Instagram ads in July, from $9 million in May, according to Pathmatics, which tracks digital and social media spend.

Amazon declined to comment.

Amazon is also spending more to market Prime Video as Disney, HBO, and Quibi have launched competing streaming rivals.

From January to July, Amazon spent $19 million advertising its video-streaming service Amazon Prime Video as well as music-streaming service Amazon Music Prime, a 10% year-over-year increase, according to MediaRadar.

Other streaming TV marketers have been spending more. Apple spent $47.7 million running TV ads for a two-month period last year to launch Apple TV Plus while Disney spent $24.9 million in preparation for launching Disney+.

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