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Amazon Prime Video Plans Ad-Supported Tier

Bittersweet News for Marketers

Prime Video will soon roll out an ad-supported tier of its streaming service, according to the Wall Street Journal. This means a whole new set of ad inventory will be available to brands looking to reach over 100 million Prime Video subscribers on their living room couches.

Amazon Prime Video Ads

Unlock a massive audience

Prime Video follows Netflix and Peacock in its introduction of ad-supported subscriptions — what distinguishes it, though, is that content isn’t Amazon’s only stream of revenue. It’s more like Disney, which has other, more lucrative income streams but is trying to bolster its streaming service. Amazon Prime had already begun adding some of its Prime Video content like A League of Their Own over to Freevee, its free ad-supported streaming (FAST) service. With this addition, Amazon is reinforcing its immunity to the deprecation of third-party data, between its booming retail media network, paid search ads, and now CTV.

The Downside of Amazon Prime Video Ads

Amazon is known as a walled garden, meaning the company keeps all of its first-party data within the Amazon Ads ecosystem, rather than sharing it with advertisers. Brands will enjoy the reach and scale of Prime Video, but not the granular, backend analytics. It’s unclear exactly when the new ad inventory will become available, but CEO Andy Jassy is reportedly eager to get things moving.

What's next for brands?

It remains undecided how the ad-supported tier will fit into the existing Prime membership structure – Prime members currently enjoy streaming video as part of the $15/month subscription, while anyone can purchase the streamer a la carte for $9/month. Maybe Amazon will serve Prime members more ads than usual and offer an ad-free upgrade? We’ll see.

Brands that market to sports fans should be particularly excited, as Prime Video recently acquired the exclusive rights to stream NFL Thursday night football and is reportedly negotiating live NBA coverage. Food and beverage brands should also tap into this audience of couch snackers watching movies and TV on Prime Video. Consumers have responded with mixed reactions on social media, many saying the content on Prime Video isn’t worth another expense, but the programmatic marketing experts at Exverus will be keeping a sharp eye on its performance.

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