Amazon is adding more Fire TV inventory to its Ad Console, a tool advertisers use to manage their sponsored ad campaigns on Amazon, with the latest U.S. beta program available on its fast-emerging ad stack.
Marketers who want to promote their apps, shows or other forms of content can now buy ads on a CPC basis that will render as “tiles” on the home screen of Fire TV, Amazon’s streaming platform, via the company’s Ad Console.
Amazon maintains the new self-service feature will enable advertisers to more quickly activate ad campaigns on the streaming service by targeting placements based on relevant audience segments, as well as receive instant performance feedback.
Mike Fisher, vp of advanced TV and audio at GroupM’s digital specialist unit Essence, told Adweek having sufficient measurement offerings will be important for Amazon to differentiate this program. Not only is it important to measure ad exposure and app installs, but marketers will also need to compare that against sign ups and how often viewers come to the app.
“The key is going to be for their [Amazon’s] measurement to be open enough to be able to plug into the omnichannel measurement that our clients are using directly,” he said.
“So, being able to pull that data out of the platform, in terms of who was exposed [and] how many times are they exposed before the viewer took an action, and feed it into their [the client’s] broader CRM system to better target in the future.”
Complicated path to purchase
Currently, there are two main ways of buying CTV ad space advertising on any given streaming platform. Marketers can buy home screen display ads, which are similar to banner placements on desktop; or they can buy in-app video inventory, similar to buying commercials on linear TV.
While Amazon controls the inventory on its home screen, it splits in-app inventory with the content providers on its platform meaning advertisers are faced with multiple paths to that in-app inventory. The latest launch will pose advertisers with an interesting quandary.
As platforms build out their ad stacks, picking the best path to inventory can be a challenge for media buyers. Essence’s Fisher told Adweek that a chosen path to inventory ultimately depends on a client’s goals. This is because buying directly from platforms typically provides preferred access to inventory, pricing and audience data.
“There’s a lot of work that I need to do on my side to get my programmatic traders comfortable using four or five different platforms. But the idea is that the benefit of them using four or five different platforms is probably, in the long run, better for the client to be able to get better quality data and better quality inventory,” he said.
Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky said during the company’s most recent earnings call that it’s looking to develop new OTT ad products to address its more than 40 million monthly U.S. Fire TV users.
Amazon is establishing itself as a challenger to the digital advertising duopoly of Facebook and Google. Research firm eMarketer expects Amazon’s U.S. ad revenue will reach $12.75 billion by the end of the year, accounting for 9.5% of market share, up from 7.8% last year. Google and Facebook control 29.4% and 23.4% of the digital ad market, respectively.
In Q3 its ad revenue totaled $5.4 billion, up 51% from the same period last year, largely due to the uptick of ecommerce activity during the pandemic, a period that has seen streaming experience massive growth as people continue stay home amid shutdowns.