Prime Video Subscribers to See Ads When Viewing Paused


Amazon is updating its Prime Video service with integrated interactive advertisements that will appear when viewers pause their content. The ad strategy is intended to strengthen engagement and encourage on-the-spot shopping directly through the streaming platform.

What’s Happening & Why This Matters

Amazon’s latest strategy involves the roll-out of three new ad formats on Prime Video: 1) shoppable carousel ads, 2) interactive pause ads, and 3) trivia-themed interactive ads. These ads are designed to make the viewing experience more interactive with viewer-options to add products directly to their Amazon carts or learn more about the advertised products.

  • Engagement Through Interactivity: The new pause ads activate when a viewer pauses a movie, show, or live sports event. The presentation is a translucent ad with brand messages and interactive overlays. This approach mirrors strategies employed by other platforms (e.g., Hulu) to capitalize on moments of viewer attention during breaks.

Prime Video already included commercials in its streams unless subscribers paid an additional $3 per month. With the new ad features, even subscribers opting for the ad-supported tier ($12/mo) — or with an Amazon Prime subscription ($18/mo) — will encounter these new ads which is a clear push to increase ad revenue via streaming.

[Amazon] must balance monetization with user experience to avoid alienating their viewer base.”

Jenna Walters

While these ads make shopping more accessible, there’s potential for viewer fatigue if ads become too intrusive. Overuse can affect overall user satisfaction and potentially lead to subscription cancellations. Amazon and Prime Video”s focus on innovative ad formats is part of its larger goal to compete more aggressively in the digital advertising against Alphabet and Meta. As one of the top digital advertising firms, Amazon’s foray into more integrated ad experiences could set new standards for the industry.

TF Summary: What’s Next

As Prime Videos ad formats roll out, the next few months will indicate how these changes affect viewer engagement, subscriptions, and integrated sales. If successful, other streaming services may co-opt similar interactive, shoppable ads.

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