Prime Video Steals the Show

In the continuing quest to suck the lifeblood out of us all, Amazon announced three new streaming ad formats for Prime Video (well, 2.5). This is in addition to all the other stuff they were doing with ads in the interface and screen stealers “pause ads”. Scharon Harding at Ars Technica first brought this to my attention, but it’s worth reading Amazon’s advertising blog post about this:

  • Shoppable carousel ads, which make it easy for customers to browse and shop multiple related products on Amazon during ad breaks on Prime Video. Brands can present a sliding lineup of their products that customers can explore on Amazon and add to their cart using most living-room remotes. The ad automatically pauses so that customers can browse, and automatically resumes play when ad interaction has stopped.
  • Interactive pause ads, which enable customers to discover and engage with brands when they decide to pause the show or movie they’re streaming. When viewers press pause on their living-room remote, they will see a translucent ad featuring brand messaging and imagery, along with an “Add to Cart” and “Learn More” creative overlay. These ads extend the engagement opportunity beyond a traditional ad break, as the interactive overlay is available to customers for as long as the content is paused. With a click of their remote, customers can easily add the product to their Amazon cart, get more information sent to their email, and resume their stream at any time.
  • Interactive brand trivia ads, which help advertisers elevate their storytelling by entertaining customers with factoids about their brand while giving them the opportunity to shop on Amazon, learn more about services and products, and even unlock rewards. Customers can use their living-room remote to add a product to their cart, request information via email, and claim rewards like Amazon shopping credits with the purchase of eligible items.


Let’s just read some more about this depredation, shall we?

Prime Video has an average monthly ad-supported reach of over 200 million global customers. With Amazon customers shopping while watching content on Prime Video, Amazon Ads connects content to customers using Amazon’s addressable signals and first-party audiences. With this set of innovative S TV ad formats and access to a closed loop of insights, billions of signals help brands to continually improve their ad performance and campaign strategy.

Translation: We have engineered a captive audience by flipping that switch on opting everyone into ad-supported plans, and we have all the data on the audience from those plans, and if you want access to them, and the “insights” from their data you’ll use our advertising platform.

Let’s hop back over to Ars, where Scharon points out:

Still, Amazon claimed today that Prime Video ads reach an average of 200 million people monthly. Although, Amazon hasn’t provided a firm figure on how many Prime Video subscribers it currently has overall. In 2021, Amazon said that Prime, which includes Prime Video, had 200 million subscribers.

So that 200 million number is a lie because not every Prime subscriber watches Prime Video. They have the capacity to show ads to 200 million subscribers, were they all to actually use Prime Video.

This offends me for the same reason as all the other stuff, not because of advertising in the abstract, but because it is worsening an experience in a way no one anticipated when they subscribed. It is altering the deal when all this time I’ve been praying they do not alter it any further.

I do wonder how long it’ll be before they start offering advertisers display banners framing the video content. You know, but in a tasteful way that respects the closed-loop insights.

2024-05-07 17:00:00

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