Amazon’s ad revenue growth slowed sharply in the first three months of this year.
In its first-quarter earnings report, the online retail giant posted 34% year-on-year growth in "other" business activities to $2.72 billion.
This number consists almost entirely of advertising sales. Last year, Amazon enjoyed a year-on-year doubling of ad revenue, which surpassed $10 billion for the first time in 2018.
The slowdown in ad revenue growth means that it is no longer the fastest-growing area of the business, despite it still being a relatively small part of Amazon’s overall revenue.
EMarketer's senior forecasting director, Monica Peart, said the slowdown in other revenues was more pronounced than expected.
"[The slowdown] showcases the moderating sales for third-party sellers as the platform seeks to maximise profitability, at some cost to these sellers," Peart explained.
Meanwhile, its lucrative cloud computing division, Amazon Web Services, grew 42% to $7.7 billion for the quarter, although that is slower than its 49% growth rate last year. Subscription services (Amazon Prime) also grew at 42% to $4.34 billion.
Amazon's financial reports now fully include Whole Foods Market, the grocery business it bought in 2017. "Physical stores" had virtually flat growth for the quarter, with revenue up 1% $4.31 billion.
Online stores, the bulk of Amazon’s business, grew 12% to $29.5 billion.
Amazon posted a 17% rise in revenue (reported as net sales) to $59.7 billion for the three months ending 31 March.
Its annual total revenue for 2018 came in at $232.9 billion, which is a higher figure than the gross domestic product of all but 47 of the world’s nations, according to International Monetary Fund figures.
(This article first appeared on CampaignLive.co.uk)