Prime Video users are in for ad(ded) streaming interruptions

A TV show page on Prime Video
(Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Amazon Ads will roll out three new interactive ads for Amazon Prime video on TVs and other living room devices.
  • The company says this will enable users to seamlessly shop during the 15-30-second ad breaks between their shows/movies.
  • These ads are said to pop up even when a video is paused and showcase facts about the brand that will help users shop better.

Streaming on Prime Video will get a bit busier as Amazon announced on Tuesday (May 7) that it will add three new interactive and shoppable ad formats to its streaming platform on living room devices.

The company said that Prime Video will now receive an expanded suite of interactive and shoppable ad formats, including remote-enabled capabilities for living room devices that go a step ahead of the usual QR code that pops up in an ad.

Brands will now be able to showcase shoppable carousel ads to help viewers browse and shop multiple product variations on Amazon during ad breaks in Prime Video shows and movies. Brands can also use interactive pause and brand trivia ads in Prime Video TV shows, movies, and live sports. 

These interactive ads are said to appear in three distinctive formats during ad breaks or when the video is paused.

  • Shoppable carousel ads: Brands present a sliding lineup of their products that customers can explore on Amazon and add to their cart using most living-room remotes. Viewers can pause these ads to browse through the products.
  • Interactive pause ads: These pop up when viewers pause the show or movie they're streaming. A translucent ad featuring brand messaging and imagery, along with an "Add to Cart" and "Learn More," will create an overlay on the screen, replacing the usual pause screen containing information about the show/movie — these ads will show up even after the ad breaks and disappear when the video is resumed.
  • Interactive brand trivia ads: These Provide facts about a specific brand, giving users the opportunity to shop on Amazon, learn more about services and products, and even unlock rewards. Customers can use their living-room remote to add a product to their cart, request information via email, and claim rewards like Amazon shopping credits with the purchase of eligible items.

Amazon's research indicated that interactive ads are more effective in boosting engagement rates and driving product sales, allowing viewers to add items to their cart while binging on a show/movie.

“We are developing innovative experiences to help brands better engage with customers as we work to transform streaming," said Alan Moss, vice president of global ad sales for Amazon Ads.

"Ads in Prime Video provide an unparalleled experience for advertisers to deliver on any full-funnel marketing objective – whether it’s awareness, consideration or conversion,” Moss added.

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy noted during the company's Q1 2024 earnings call that the company's efforts to bring ads to Prime Video were off to a good start and that advertisers were "excited about being able to expand their ability to advertise with us [with] video" beyond the previous offerings.

Is this a good move for users?

Prime Video continue watching

(Image credit: Amazon)

Many people find ads on streaming platforms frustrating, and paying an additional $2.99 on top of their Prime Video or Amazon Prime subscription isn't something that everyone willingly does to get rid of ads. Instead, viewers painfully wait for the 15-30 sec ads to get done. Imagine an added layer of interactive ads to steer your attention away.

However, the downside is that Amazon seems to be looking to boost revenue through these new ads, and how viewers will react remains to be seen. Will they really find these ads engaging, or will they become more frustrated and consider switching to an ad-free streaming platform? 

Amazon isn't the only platform that has introduced interactive ads. Since 2022, they've appeared more frequently on Hulu, Max, and Peacock, and customers weren't keen on these changes.

Kara Manatt of the media and advertising group Magna told Variety last year that "having a bad experience or having a lot of ad clutter erodes the impact of ads and is really bad for users." Manatt said research found that customers also changed their behavior due to these ads and canceled their streaming service subscriptions. 

Amazon Ads first introduced interactive video ads in 2021 on services like IMDb TV on Fire TV devices and has continued to expand the format across most of its streaming TV portfolio, including shows, movies, and live sports on Prime Video, Twitch, Fire TV Channels, and third-party streaming TV apps.

Nandika Ravi
News Editor

Nandika Ravi is an Editor for Android Central. Based in Toronto, after rocking the news scene as a Multimedia Reporter and Editor at Rogers Sports and Media, she now brings her expertise into the Tech ecosystem. When not breaking tech news, you can catch her sipping coffee at cozy cafes, exploring new trails with her boxer dog, or leveling up in the gaming universe.

  • rvbfan
    AC News said:
    Amazon Ads unveiled three new interactive and shoppable ad formats for Prime Video with remote-enabled capabilities.

    Prime Video users are in for ad(ded) streaming interruptions : Read more
    Good bye Prime. I won't miss you.