Ad units on the Fire TV home screen were formerly limited to media and entertainment firms, as well as programmers promoting their own programming.

However, beginning on Wednesday, Amazon will make this inventory available to any sort of advertiser, allowing all companies to get in front of viewers before they’re lured into an ad-free show, according to Charlotte Maines, director of Fire TV advertising, monetization, and engagement.

The extension is similar to Roku’s recent decision to open up home screen inventory to brands other than video and entertainment.

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Amazon is also introducing a new ad unit within search results on Fire TV that is only available to media and entertainment advertisers.

According to Maines, the Fire TV audience base is now large enough to justify expenditures in expanding ad possibilities to more businesses.

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Over the past year, Fire TV has concentrated on providing new content to increase viewership, such as Fire TV Channels, a new hub of free ad-supported TV channels Amazon debuted in October 2022 and publicly unveiled during its NewFronts event in May.

According to Amazon, the number of people watching Fire TV Channels more than doubled between January and September. Monthly streaming hours more than tripled in the same time period.

Wherever there are viewers, advertisers are looking for methods to reach them, even if they just subscribe to ad-free streaming.

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Advertisers may now buy inventory specific to Fire TV Channels or devices, such as Fire sticks and TCL TVs that run the Fire TV operating system, through direct negotiations.

Rotating hero units on the home screen, which are display advertisements that play video when users click them (for brands of any vertical), and sponsored tiles that appear beneath search queries (for media and entertainment advertisers) are among the formats available. Buyers can narrow their search for sponsored tiles by genre. For example, a programmer might pay to promote scary movies in its IP to viewers looking for horror entertainment around Halloween.

In addition to accessing viewers who choose ad-free streaming (i.e., the vast majority of them), TV display inventory provides purchasers with access to a more exclusive audience that they are unlikely to discover on other TV devices, according to Maines. Audience exclusivity is frequently included in a TV manufacturer’s pitch to advertisers.

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According to Nielsen data, while 23% of Fire TV customers also possess a Samsung TV, only 10% own an LG TV and only 8% own a Roku-operated TV.

Adding new ad targeting choices to Fire TV is a means for marketers to gain “an audience that’s largely incremental” or “additive” to their existing streaming purchases, according to Maines.

Brands can also choose to bundle Fire TV ad units with their other Amazon streaming purchases, which would naturally include Prime Video (after the streaming service debuts commercials early next year), though Amazon declined to confirm Prime Video’s involvement in this new ad bundle.

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Display and search ads on TV home screens appear to function best when combined with traditional 15- or 30-second commercials.

When combined with a streaming campaign, Amazon claims that Fire TV display sets generate 125% higher incremental reach. They also drive a 153% year-on-year boost in retail brand awareness growth when compared to traditional streaming purchases alone.

In terms of retail, Amazon aims to add more targeting capabilities to its new inventory in the future, according to Maines, because it has a tremendous quantity of first-party retail and ecommerce data.

“Over time,” he added, “we’ll figure out what data we can share for buyers to layer on [more advanced] targeting.”


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