Comment: Adtechs on the new Amazon Prime ads layer

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Amazon Prime has just introduced some advertising elements to its popular video streaming platform, a move it says will help it fund continued investment in new content.

While some consumers may well rue the end of ads free viewing, some reports suggest most of us won’t really mind all that much.

As of today, Amazon Prime Video subscribers in the UK will need to pay an extra fee of £2.99/month to avoid seeing any ads.

So we asked our leading adtech experts for their take on the great Amazon Prime ad switch-on…

Edward-Wale-VP-Europe-LG-Ad-solutions

Edward Wale, VP, International, LG Ad Solutions

“The bold move by yet another major streaming service to embrace an ad-supported tier solidifies the growing consumer affinity for this model.

“While initial hesitations surrounded the launches of industry giants like Netflix and Disney+, their continued development has played a pivotal role in normalising ad-supported alternatives.

“Amazon’s decision to automatically enrol Prime subscribers into its ad-supported tier is thus far a unique strategy.

“The potential backlash from users being asked to pay more for their existing service level and the looming issue of transparency in user numbers could pose challenges.

“Yet, the key to success lies in Amazon’s ability to optimise ad delivery – ensuring swift load times, a balanced ad-load, well-managed frequency, and content-relevant advertisements.

“If executed effectively, audiences stand to reap the benefits, marking a transformative shift in the streaming landscape.”

Dominic-Tillson-azerionDominic Tillson, Marketing Director, Azerion

“As one of the last SVOD powerhouses to introduce an advertising supported tier, it wouldn’t surprise me if Amazon receives backlash from its existing Prime subscribers for the evolution.

“Without offering an incremental value exchange, viewers will potentially be over-critical of the ads they encounter.

“It will be more challenging for marketers to engage new audiences, and as a result, making memorable first impressions through relevant, engaging and impactful experiences will be key.

“On the other hand, Amazon is a big player creating new supply in the digital market, so from a creative point of view we can expect growth in the quality and popularity of ad formats that generate the most high-quality attention in this channel.

“Marketers that collect and leverage direct consumer insights will be the first to determine what these ad formats are and how reaching the right consumers at the right times will help form mutually beneficial consumer relationships, increase brand recall, and drive conversions.”

james-grant-equativJames Grant, SVP, Head of Agency & Enterprise CTV Partnerships, Equativ

“This is a smart move for fast scalability. Introducing ads by default on Amazon Prime offers advertisers immediate, and significant, reach in every launch market.

“Data activation options are also huge, especially when it comes to aligning its retail media arm with streaming TV audiences.

“The vast potential of combining retail media with TV doesn’t need further emphasising — it is due to rise 590% to almost $5.6 billion by 2027.

“While Amazon’s future in harnessing this opportunity remains unknown, major potential exists to lead this space as advertisers look to innovate data-led ad targeting.

“What’s almost certain, however, is that bringing ads to Amazon Prime will accelerate ongoing growth and development of programmatic trading in the streaming arena.

“Buyers embracing automated TV deals will  push for better solutions to optimise campaign success— including better targeting and measurement tools from publishers and platforms.

“With Amazon owning all pieces of the stack, it will be well-placed to drive industry-wide evolution through constant innovation.”

William-JonesWilliam Jones, Snr Director, Head of Advanced TV, Omnichannel Activation, Adform

“Amazon needs to be very wary of subscription fatigue.

“With recent research suggesting that consumers are becoming far more selective in their choice of streaming services, focusing increasingly on free ad-supported television (FAST), will consumers pay for an Amazon Prime Video subscription and be happy to take ads on top?

“While Prime Video’s content is strong, I’d argue it is equally susceptible to seasonal viewing. With people dipping in and out, this new move may dissuade users from coming back at all. Brands will be keeping a close eye on this during this transition period.

“In terms of the ad experience, what will be interesting is if Prime Video provides the same as that of traditional TV, or goes instead for something similar to YouTube’s method – i.e. frequency management combined with contextual targeting and seamless ad breaks.

“Meanwhile, for buying these ad slots, brands will need strong, first-party data, which should be possible thanks to Amazon’s access to a wealth of this data.

“In comparison to other streaming services, which have had quite basic setups, there is an opportunity for Amazon to differentiate its offering. This includes providing metrics like incremental reach as well as more data-based targeting.

“In any case, whether brands are exploring the opportunities of Amazon’s latest development, or those available across the wider CTV ecosystem, success will need to be underpinned by a strategy that is as omnichannel as their audiences.

“Indeed, rather than hitching their star to one platform (and potentially inflating the walled garden hegemony), brands should ensure their campaigns can scale business outcomes across environments.

“This means leveraging solutions that are built with privacy by design, which can thread seamlessly between IDs, and which can change the game in driving ad spend performance.”

Maor-sadra-incrmntalMaor Sadra, CEO at INCRMNTAL

“As Amazon Prime Video follows the lead of the other major streaming services with the launch of its ad tier, it’s propelled CTV well and truly into the mainstream advertising market.

“CTV is now a fixture in the marketing strategies of all brands that have the budget for high quality video ads.

“But just because it’s now a staple in the marketing mix, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best channel to reach consumers.

“Due to its nascency, CTV is still beset with problems; lack of inventory, especially for ads traded programmatically, limited targeting, compromised brand safety due to lack of clarity around ad placements, and, of course, measurement issues.

“These challenges don’t mean brands shouldn’t advertise on CTV but they need to be considered in their approach.

“Key to this is working with partners that can guarantee targeted, brand safe placements, and privacy-safe measurement solutions that are able to accurately measure how much value a CTV ad campaign is really driving for a brand or if it’s just an expensive waste of time.