Amazon plots expanded ad-supported VOD strategy to take on Roku, report says

Amazon sign on storefront
Amazon is reportedly planning to grow its ad-supported VOD slate of channels and take on Roku, Hulu and others. (Amazon)

Amazon is planning to expand its current strategy around ad-supported video streaming and is reportedly looking for millions of dollars in commitments from advertisers.

According to Cheddar, Amazon is planning ad-supported news programming (previously reported by The Information) and other entertainment programming, tentatively launching on Fire TV devices in the fall. But the company will keep its Prime original series and films as exclusives for Prime members.

But details about Amazon’s ad-supported content are still scarce, and it’s causing advertisers and media companies to be reluctant toward committing too much of their advertising budgets toward Amazon’s ad-supported VOD (AVOD) plans.


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Amazon is reportedly making up for the lack of details about programming by promising first-party, anonymous sales data and Nielsen ratings to assuage the concerns of advertisers.

RELATED: Amazon launches IMDb ad-supported streaming service Freedive

Amazon is not completely new to ad-supported streaming. Earlier this year the company, through IMDb, launched Freedive, an AVOD available in the United States on the IMDb website via laptop or personal computer and on all Amazon Fire TV devices.

“Customers already rely on IMDb to discover movies and TV shows and decide what to watch,” said Col Needham, founder and CEO of IMDb, in a statement. “With the launch of IMDb Freedive, they can now also watch full-length movies and TV shows on IMDb and all Amazon Fire TV devices for free. We will continue to enhance IMDb Freedive based on customer feedback and will soon make it available more widely, including on IMDb’s leading mobile apps.”

With an expanded slate of ad-supported streaming channels, Amazon would go head-to-head with Roku, Hulu, NBCUniversal, Viacom’s Pluto TV, Crackle Plus and a handful of other AVODs that are vying for market share in the growing ad-supported streaming market.

Digital TV Research said that although SVOD accounts for most of streaming video revenues, AVOD revenues will grow $27 billion between 2017 and 2023 and rise to $47 billion to account for 36% of total revenues.

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