- Amazon is bringing ads to TV shows and flicks on Prime Video, according to an organization blog post. The streaming service is included as a perk attached to the corporate’s larger Prime membership program.
- Commercials will start appearing on Prime Video content in early 2024, with the U.S., U.K., Germany and Canada because the initial test markets. Amazon said that there will be “meaningfully fewer ads” than what consumers see on linear TV and other streamers.
- Prime subscribers will be notified ahead of the rollout and don’t need to make any changes to their membership plans. Those in the U.S. can spend $2.99 more monthly to retain an ad-free version of Prime Video, while Amazon will share pricing options for the premium tier in other markets at a later date.
Amazon joins a raft of firms which can be trying to make their bets on streaming video entertainment more profitable with the implementation of ads for Prime Video. While the service already runs commercials around some marquee programming, including the NFL’s “Thursday Night Football,” this represents a major ramp-up in its monetization efforts.
The move, previously reported on by The Wall Street Journal in June, could appeal to brands which have long desired to connect with consumers through streamers that, until recently, have mostly been commercial-free. Viewers even have the choice of avoiding ads on Prime Video by paying extra monthly, though live sports programming will still carry commercials.
In the announcement, Amazon harped on the worth that Prime delivers, with Prime Video only one offering in a package that also includes advantages like free delivery. The firm also touted the variability and quality of the streamer’s content library, calling out the success of original series like “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” which closed out a five-season run as probably the most Emmy-nominated streaming comedy ever, in addition to its ownership of the MGM studio. Another linchpin for Prime Video has been a deal to stream “Thursday Night Football,” one other sign that primetime viewing occasions are making the jump to the digital realm from the confines of linear TV.
Gauging the recognition of Prime Video is difficult since, like other streamers, Amazon will not be beholden to conventional rankings measures. The platform has been known for costly endeavors, including the mega-budgeted “Citadel” and a series set in “The Lord of the Rings” universe that is taken into account one of the vital expensive TV shows of all time. Introducing commercials to this environment could help offset among the steep price tags that come attached to Hollywood productions that streamers need to churn out at a gradual pace to win and retain viewers.
The shift may also further speed up momentum for Amazon’s promoting segment, which is usually focused on its e-commerce business. Amazon’s ad sales were up 22% year-over-year in the second quarter to $10.7 billion, a rate of growth well above digital rivals.
Amazon is entering an increasingly competitive market. Rivals Netflix, Disney+ and Max have also pushed further into the ad-supported arena and fought hard to win dollars over from traditional TV. The category at large can be contending with dual Hollywood writers and actors strikes which have waylaid production for months. Many issues raised by the unions stem from the streaming model and its impact on areas like residuals.
Prime Video implementing ads moreover raises questions on the long run of Amazon’s other streaming service, Freevee, which is already ad-supported and has been some extent of focus in the corporate’s overtures to Madison Avenue at events just like the NewFronts.
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