Amazon is targeting traditional TV advertisers for its connected TV platform, Fire TV.
A couple months after Amazon began requiring that Fire TV apps let Amazon sell 30 percent of their apps’ video inventory, Amazon is in the process of staffing up a dedicated video ad sales team to sell that inventory and compete with Roku for advertisers’ connected TV ad budgets. But it’s not only connected TV budgets that Amazon is going after. Amazon’s current Fire TV pitch is “very much about TV advertisers,” said one ad buyer. “They are looking at this as like television: how to break into that space, what’s the roadmap to get there and having dedicated people to sell that.”
To date, advertisers and agencies have been pitched Amazon’s video inventory by the same salespeople that handle the company’s search and display ad inventory. As a result, Amazon’s Fire TV video inventory has typically been bundled with Amazon’s display inventory, which include the banner ads running on Fire TV’s home screen, or is packaged as part of larger upfront deals related to Amazon’s “Thursday Night Football” livestreams.
More recently, Amazon has been pitching its Fire TV video inventory as a standalone buy and has been asking ad buyers how they would like to be pitched its Fire TV inventory. “My suspicion is the full-court press is coming in the first quarter,” said the first ad buyer.
That suspicion is buoyed by Amazon aggregating more Fire TV inventory and assembling a dedicated team to sell it to advertisers. Amazon has been interviewing industry executives to join a dedicated video ad sales team, according to people familiar with the matter. A job posting on Amazon’s site for a senior video advertising solutions specialist describes the position as being “responsible for driving sales and usage of our video advertising products among TV buyers at ad agencies.” An Amazon spokesperson declined to comment.