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Amazon is bringing video ads to its mobile app

Published Mar 21st, 2019 9:03PM EDT
Amazon video ads
Image: Newscast/REX/Shutterstock

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Amazon shoppers, get ready to start being hit with video ads, as the company has apparently decided they represent a potentially lucrative new revenue opportunity.

Amazon is said to be getting ready to start rolling out video spots within its mobile app, something the company has been beta testing for several months now. That’s according to a new Bloomberg report, which went on to note that this rollout is coming to both the iOS and Android versions of Amazon’s mobile app, with the brief video clips playing in response to search queries generated by users within the app.

It’s a continuation of the incremental addition of video to Amazon’s site, which has included things like how-to’s and product videos that shoppers might otherwise have left Amazon’s site to seek them out from a destination like YouTube. Per Bloomberg, Amazon decided its lack of video content in recent years meant that better shopper engagement and product discovery was happening elsewhere.

As the Internet retailer got more comfortable with the addition of video elements, it apparently also saw an opportunity to step up as a credible ad challenger to the so-called duopoly of Facebook and Google.

Amazon hasn’t commented thus far about its mobile video ad plans. Data from EMarketer Inc., however, shows that Amazon will grow its slice of the digital advertising market from 6.8% last year to 8.8% this year, while Google’s is expected to slip 1 percentage point — from 38.2% to 37.2%.

Amazon is also no doubt keenly aware of the size of the advertising opportunity here, with EMarketer data showing that brands are expected to shell out $16 billion for video advertising on mobile platforms this year. That’s up more than 22% from last year. All of which is to say, if you’re not exactly a fan of being bombarded with video ads, tough luck. More is on the way.

Collin Colburn, a Forrester Research analyst, told Bloomberg these new video ads are an expansion of things Amazon has tried on its own devices like the Fire TV and Kindle e-reader. “They roll out these new experiences slowly to see if it disrupts the shopping experience and see if it’s something advertisers want,” he said. “This creates a new format for them and another way to sell space on the platform.”

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.

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