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Amazon Looks to Lure Brands With New Streaming Tech Integrations

Retail Dive | May 4,2022

With its second go at the NewFronts, Amazon emphasized how its video offerings are implementing more advanced technology that could benefit advertisers and content creators seeking an enhanced streaming experience.

Virtual Product Placement could be of particular interest, as Prime Video is a major streaming destination but doesn’t support traditional ads. Product placement deals have historically been limited to whatever advertisers had an agreement locked in place prior to shooting. With Virtual Product Placement, brands can insert themselves into shows even after filming ends, opening greater flexibility.

Prime Video and Freevee originals “Reacher,” “Jack Ryan,” “Bosch: Legacy,” “Making the Cut” and “Leverage: Redemption” are already using Virtual Product Placement. A packaged goods brand saw a 6.9% increase in brand favorability and a 14.7% lift in purchase intent for a campaign with Virtual Product Placement, Amazon said. In an example highlighted by the company, a bowl on an office table in a “Bosch” episode has bags of M&Ms in it thanks to Virtual Product Placement.

Freevee, which rebranded from IMDb TV earlier this month, remains a dark horse in Amazon’s roster, though an increasingly central part of its pitch to advertisers. The name change is intended to bring more clarity to its positioning around offering free-but-premium streaming content. With the rebranding announcement, Amazon said it planned to grow Freevee’s originals slate by 70%. It’s also pushing for more short-term licensed content, including through a new deal with Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution for a selection of titles such as the “Deadpool” movies, “Hidden Figures” and “Logan.”

Twitch also continues to be a powerful platform driving Amazon’s ad business. Amazon is expanding how brands can capitalize on the connection between influencers and the communities that follow them on the service. Twitch Drops — an existing feature where viewers earn in-game rewards for watching streams — is adding a sponsored element with Co-Op Drops, which allows brands to present those rewards. Adobe tested the product in March through a series of sponsored streams with six Twitch creators.

Elsewhere, Amazon is attempting to round out its advertising suite. It’s putting out a Streaming TV Media Planner that allows brands to track incremental reach via Amazon Ads and compare their results to linear channels. Another product in beta, Omnichannel Metrics, tries to enable in-flight campaign optimization, while an Amazon Brand Lift capability assesses campaign impact based on metrics like awareness and purchase intent.

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