Home CTV Prime Video Launches Shoppable Ad Units Ahead Of Amazon’s First Upfront

Prime Video Launches Shoppable Ad Units Ahead Of Amazon’s First Upfront

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It was only a matter of time.

On Tuesday, Amazon unveiled three new interactive ad units for Prime Video, all of which are shoppable. These ad formats are currently available to a small group of advertisers (which Amazon declined to name) and will become widely available later this year.

The timing here is very intentional. Amazon will make its TV upfronts debut next week on May 14.

It’s not surprising that Amazon plans to link its ecommerce business to Prime Video’s new ad tier, which launched in January. Until now, shoppable ads on Prime Video were limited to live sports programming.

But the streaming competition is only getting hotter, which means time is of the essence. Prime Video isn’t only competing with other new AVOD platforms like Disney+ and Netflix – it also must compete with other programming distributors with their own retail data, namely Vizio, if and when Walmart completes its acquisition, that is.

To get ahead of the competition, Prime Video needs to woo advertisers with targeting and measurement tied directly to Amazon’s shopper data.

Don’t stop shopping

Two of Prime Video’s three new interactive ad units are shoppable overlays for 15- and 30-second spots.

One, shoppable carousel ads, are commercials that prompt viewers to click through a brand’s catalog with their remote and add products to their Amazon Prime cart. If a viewer doesn’t interact with the video ad, the content stream resumes once the ad finishes playing.

Brand trivia ads, meanwhile, work similarly in that they prompt viewers to interact with an instream video ad by answering questions to unlock rewards or product discounts, send product info to their email or add more items to their cart.

The third and final new shoppable format is a pause ad unit for Prime Video that features a brand’s message with creative overlays that prompt viewers to interact with products by clicking “learn more” or “add to cart.” Pause ads only play when viewers pause a video stream and have become a popular ad format for streaming platforms. (Hulu, Netflix and Max all have pause ads.)

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From Prime Video’s perspective, shoppable ads are a way to meet the buy side’s demands for more performance from TV ad campaigns and closed-loop attribution to go with it. According to Amazon’s own research, interactive ads for Amazon product listings drive 10 times more product page views and conversions than their non-interactive counterparts.

But, while shoppable ads are a shiny object, the real selling point for advertisers is being able to target and measure their performance using Amazon’s first-party shopper data. Linking shopper data to Prime Video subscribers gives ad buyers a way to serve more targeted ads to a growing viewer base. According to Amazon, 200 million people watch Prime Video with ads every month.

Will advertisers buy into Amazon’s shoppable TV pitch? We’ll see when TV upfront negotiations kick off next week.

Amazon did not provide a comment in time for publication.

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