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Freevee expands, NFL deal, virtual ads: what Amazon announced at IAB NewFronts

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By Webb Wright, NY Reporter

May 3, 2022 | 4 min read

Retail giant Amazon has unveiled a suite of new features across multiple platforms, including Prime Video and Twitch. The company also underscored the dynamic and expanding capabilities of Amazon Ads, its advertising solutions arm.

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Amazon unveiled new opportunities for advertisers during its 2022 NewFronts presentation / Adobe Stock

Amazon’s star-studded presentation last night at the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s 2022 NewFronts event unveiled new content and ad features across a number of the company’s platforms. The event, hosted by Amy Poehler, emphasized Amazon’s growing presence in the immensely lucrative and expansive streaming market, as well as the new opportunities that that poses for other brands looking to advertise through Amazon.

Here are the announcements from last night’s Amazon presentation that you need to be aware of:

Amazon Freevee expands its content portfolio

Amazon Freevee, the company’s ad-supported video streaming service (previously called IMDb TV), announced a slate of new original series, as well as a short-term licensing agreement with Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution for a handful of popular titles, including Deadpool and Logan. Freevee has also “increased its free ad-supported TV offering to more than 75 channels,” per the company.

Amazon aims to generate buzz about its NFL partnership

Amazon announced last year that it had gained exclusive rights to the NFL’s Thursday Night Football beginning in the League’s 2022-2023 season. During the company’s presentation last night, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell appeared alongside legendary announcer Al Michaels and analyst Kirk Herbstreit to discuss the finer points of the partnership and what sorts of benefits viewers – and brands – could expect to glean from it. Amazon’s first-ever exclusive stream, hosted by both Prime and Twitch, will take place on September 15 for a game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Los Angeles Chargers.

New virtual product placement (VPP) features

In an illustrative video, Amazon demonstrated to the audience how its new post-production VPP program enables brands to strategically insert products into content streaming from Prime Video or Amazon Freevee. “Virtual product placement is a game changer,” Henrik Bastin, chief executive of Fabel Entertainment and executive producer of Bosch: Legacy, said in a statement. “It creates the ability to film your series without thinking about all that is required with traditional placements during production. Instead, you can sit with the final cut and see where a product could be seamlessly and naturally integrated into the storytelling.”

It joined NBCU's Peacock in doing so.

New audience engagement opportunities via Twitch

Amazon-owned Twitch unveiled some new features that will enable brands to tap into and boost engagement with the gaming streaming service’s huge audience. For example, the company announced ‘For Twitch, With Twitch,’ which is described as “a selection of creator-driven content on the interactive livestreaming service that is curated for brands looking to connect with Twitch’s deeply engaged community.” The company also introduced the audience to ‘Co-op drops,’ a new program that enables brands to ingratiate themselves within the platform’s community by organizing ‘drops,’ described as “an existing popular Twitch experience where in-game rewards are granted to viewers for watching streams on Twitch.”

Comprehensive ad campaign management

Amazon Ads, the company’s ad solutions arm, also walked the audience through some of its service offerings, which “offer advertisers an end-to-end planning, measurement and optimization solution.” Amazon Marketing Cloud, for instance, enables brands to analyze multiple datasets and thereby optimize their ad targeting and execution strategies.

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