Is Prime Video the key for Amazon to gain advertising upper funnel budget?

Amazon released news that they will be introducing advertising to Prime Video for standard subscription holders from February 2024. This massively changes the exposure and recognition of previously only allowing brands to advertise on it’s free subscription platform, Freevee.

The Freevee audience is vast, reaching around 6M unique users but due to them not paying any fee could be quite questionable from a consumer perspective particularly for higher ticket items. Opening advertising up to Prime Video too gives much greater reach to consumers as well as confidence in the content available and the audiences that they are able to target. In this short blog, we will visit some of the points that back up that Prime Video could change the advertising game for Amazon.

Streaming TV has seen dramatic growth since 2017 when comparing to linear TV and BVOD. We can see that the advertising expenditure is almost equal with advertisers recognising that less people now watch live TV and streaming TV poses a larger and more targeted approach.

Source: AA/WARC Expenditure Report; IAB UK PwC Digital Adspend Study 2022. Figures are presented in nominal terms. ‘Instream’ refers to streamed media attached to video content. This can include pre-roll, midroll and post-roll formats. Online video advertising will only launch when a piece of online video content is viewed. It is specific to the content against which it is attached and not the static web pages that the content may be launched from. ‘Outstream’ refers to standalone video ads that sit outside a stream of video content, including ads that appear on social media feeds, as well as standalone video ads on news websites. IAB UK’s definition of instream was revised in 2022 due to the evolution of social video advertising formats. Where advertising is inserted between short-form, scrollable content, such as reels, and is dependent on the preceding or following video content, it is included in the ‘instream’ category.

Coupling the growth of SVOD with the penetration of the key platforms, we can see that Prime Video is a close second to Netflix in terms of UK households. Despite Netflix being larger, Amazon has a wealth of data that far exceeds Netflix’s capabilities. Although it’s logged in viewers who also purchase items on Amazon, this information gives Amazon a clear view of what the user needs, their interests and lots of other details that could be used as targeting. This makes the Amazon SVOD proposition superior to Netflix in that they enable targeting related to demographics (e.g. HHI, age, children), in market, lifestyle and interest audiences.

Source: Barb Establishment Survey. Includes paid-for subscriptions and free trials. No data for Q2 2020, Q4 2020, and Q1 2021 due to the suspension of fieldwork due to the Covid-19 pandemic. ‘Any other’ includes Hayu, Discovery+, Paramount+ and BritBox.

Amazon have recently claimed that the ad supported reach of Prime Video is 15MM viewers which is far higher than Netflix at 5MM and topping the BVOD platform, ITVX with 12.5MM. This feels like it gives reason for brands to test and potentially move larger sums of budget to Amazon in future based on these capabilities and future challenges such as the demise of the 3P cookie.

2024 will be an interesting year with Amazon giving reason for brands to move budget away from YouTube and Meta as well as BVOD platforms such as ITVX and into Prime Video. If you are interested to know more about advertising on Prime Video or need help activating a future campaign, please get in touch!

Joe Farley, Associate Director - Consultancy

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