Adweek reports that Amazon has built its own automated "real-time bidding" platform for advertising, signaling an effort to take on web ad powerhouses like Google. The platform will allow Amazon to track and analyze the shopping habits of its customers, and then service tailored ads to those users elsewhere on the web — something Google does already with its own AdSense program, which generates nearly 30 percent of the company's revenue. Other companies, like Facebook, are also jumping into the real-time bidding market, though Facebook's recently announced Exchange platform will only run ads internally on the social network. While Amazon already sells ads on its network of websites and on its Kindle devices, Adweek says those programs are more traditional; an automated ad buying platform would help the company directly compete with major ad service companies on the web.
Amazon's new ad network will plug into platforms like Google AdX and PubMatic, allowing the company to use its recommendation engine to serve ads outside of Amazon's own network, Adweek says. The company declined to comment on matter, telling Adweek that "Amazon has a longstanding practice of not commenting on future plans." While a new targeted ad network may raise concerns for Amazon's shoppers, Adweek reports that the company is "extremely protective of its data and wary of providing outside access," and would allow ad buyers to create targeting segments that include categories like gender, age range, state of residence, and interest in certain types of products — but not customer names or individual buying histories.