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Amazon adds new ad formats, originals, a FAST, TNF ad innovationnScreenMedia

Amazon is making an even deeper push into video advertising. New ad formats, original content, and even a new FAST service are being brought into play. TNF will debut shoppable TV and ad targeting.

Free Fire TV Channels

Fire TV ChannelsAmazon is following the lead of Roku, Samsung, LG, Vizio, and Google TV by building a suite of free channels into the Fire TV experience. Appropriately called Fire TV Channels, the content is available on the “Free” tab from the Fire TV menu bar. Amazon has opted to eschew the usual grid guide and provided access via channel groups instead. For example, viewers can find Tastemade, America’s Test Kitchen, and Hungry channels under the Food & Cooking group. Other groups include Sports Highlights, Trending Trailers, Gaming Videos, Viral Videos, Travel Inspiration, and Celebrity News.

The content isn’t all strictly speaking a linear channel. For example, the Travel Inspiration group is a curated list of on-demand videos that play back-to-back. Also, much less content is available than in Samsung TV Plus or Vizio WatchFree+. It’s also not clear why Amazon didn’t simply integrate FreeVee channels. It has 361 channels across many genres and will launch an exclusive channel from The Washington Post on Saturday. But perhaps FreeVee channel integration will come later.

Freevee gets a lot more original content

Freevee already has original shows, including Leverage Redemption, Judy Justice, and Hollywood Houselift. In its Newfronts presentation this week, Amazon says many more are coming. Trevor Noah is hosting a topical, satirical panel show called Mock the Week and a reality competition series called The GOAT with the buzziest names in reality TV.

The service has also renewed the crime show Bosch: Legacy for a third season and ordered two more seasons of Judy Justice. And Judy Sheindlin is extending her relationship with Freevee. She has a new series called Tribunal Justice premiering on June 9th, and Freevee has greenlit another court program from her called Justice On Trial.

But wait, there’s more! Amazon is moving more than 100 Prime Video originals to FreeVee. Episodes of Reacher, Late Night, The Wheel of Time, The Summer I Turned Pretty, and more will all be free with ads in the coming months.

TNF ad innovations

When Thursday Night Football (TNF) on Amazon returns in the fall, it will bring several ad innovations to audiences tuned into the live games. Firstly, brands running a national ad during the game can flex the ad based on who is watching. For example, in the same 30-second slot, GM could run an ad for a Camaro to a young adult, a Cadillac CT5 for older viewers, and a Chevy Trailblazer to everyone else.

If a viewer happens to be watching on a Fire TV device, they might also see interactive ads during the game. Amazon Ads allows brands to run clickable ads that provide additional information via send-to-phone and send-to-email messages. The push notifications can take a user directly from the message to a brand’s Amazon store or product page.

With Amazon’s laser focus on advertising, it’s not a surprise that the company isn’t shy to spend money to advertise its content. Last year, Amazon Prime Video increased its video ad spending by 72% to $285 million. Most other video services have been conservative with ad spending over the same period. Establishing Prime Video as the home of TNF was a large part of the increase, but perhaps with all of the originals coming to Freevee and the return of TNF, the company will keep spending big.


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