According to Lowpass, the insider newsletter by Janko Roettgers, Amazon now makes more money from ads and advertising services than it does from subscription fees – and it wants its TV and video services to contribute more cash to that pot.
Roettgers had a chat with Amazon's director of Fire TV advertising, monetization and engagement, Charlotte Maines, to discuss the new ad formats that are coming to Fire TV. The short version: it's going to get a lot more like Google TV.
What new ads are coming to Fire TV?
There are three new formats for the ads you'll soon see on your Fire TV. The first is context-sensitive ads. For example, if you ask Alexa to find the show with the guy from Breaking Bad, you'll see ads for shows or films with Bob Odenkirk in them alongside your search results.
The second lot of context-tensive ads will appear when you're browsing the TV catalog. And the third is the big Featured banner at the top of the Home Screen, which was previously reserved for streaming services and will now be opened up to all kinds of advertisers. Speaking to Roettgers, Maines called it the "Cadillac of ad spots".
What this means is that you'll now see ads across all of Amazon's streaming: on Freevee, where it brackets the shows; on Prime Video, unless you pay extra to remove them; and on the Fire TV platform too.
The danger here, of course, is that too much or too intrusive advertising can be a turn-off. And that's something Amazon is keenly aware of. "If you do not enjoy using your Fire TV, you will stop using it," Maines said. "Then I don't have an opportunity for advertisers, because I don't have a user." Amazon will be monitoring the impact of the ads to ensure that that doesn't happen.
The new ad formats will be rolling out to the Fire TV platform, which means it won't just be coming to Amazon Fire TV 4K sticks and similar Amazon devices, it'll be coming to Fire TVs from the likes of TCL and Hisense too.
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Writer, broadcaster, musician and kitchen gadget obsessive Carrie Marshall (Twitter) has been writing about tech since 1998, contributing sage advice and odd opinions to all kinds of magazines and websites as well as writing more than a dozen books. Her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, is on sale now. She is the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR.