"On TV And Video" is a column exploring opportunities and challenges in advanced TV and video.
Today’s column is written by Peter Chun, vice president of platform strategy and growth at SocialCode.
This shift to streaming and over-the-top (OTT) services gives marketers the chance to reach an ever-growing and fragmented audience outside of their traditional TV buy.
New OTT opportunities offer a level of measurability often missing from traditional TV campaigns. One of those hard-to-ignore opportunities is Amazon OTT.
What sets Amazon apart from other options is the wealth of customer data available from its ever-growing customer base. More than 100 million Prime members now have access to Prime Video, providing marketers the ability to target a large group of consumers with premium video inventory similar to how they target audiences on social channels.
When you combine measurement capabilities with access to Amazon's engaged ready-to-buy users, Amazon OTT has a unique advantage over traditional TV.
Advanced audience targeting
Traditional TV advertising may offer broad reach to a large audience, but knowing the behaviors of that audience is almost impossible.
Similar to advertising across social platforms, Amazon OTT allows marketers to go beyond the basic demographic buckets used in traditional TV to increase relevancy and reach a more targeted audience with the use of first-party data as well as real-time intent. Marketers should take advantage of these capabilities to form better connections with Amazon’s hyperengaged audience.
In addition to the challenge of high-cost TV ads, measurability post-campaign is often difficult on traditional TV. As TV ratings continue to drop, the average CPM for US primetime TV upfront ads has nearly doubled over the past decade on both broadcast and cable, according to eMarketer.
Amazon OTT advertising provides the same linear TV-style inventory, but one that can be managed with a much more strategic budget and doesn’t require the same advanced spend commitment. This levels the playing field for marketers with the ability to purchase through an auction and maximize the effectiveness of each media buy.
Currently unique to Amazon OTT advertising, video conquesting allows all brands, regardless of whether they are selling on Amazon, to create and target audiences from users who have viewed a competitor’s products. As with any new product, this feature may continue to change, but brands in all verticals can benefit from the chance to reach users in the consideration phase while leaned-in with premium video content.
Access to unreachable audiences
Amazon gives marketers the ability to reach consumers who can no longer be accessed through traditional means.
Roughly a quarter of internet users use ad blockers, for example, and by 2020 the number of cord cutters who’ve canceled a paid TV service is projected to climb to 20.8% of the population. That equates to nearly 46 million people who no longer have access to traditional TV. At the same time, those using over-the-top services have increased to 182.5 million viewers this year, accounting for 55.3% of the US population.
Amazon represents a significant slice: By 2021, the number of Amazon Prime Video viewers will reach one-third of the US population, according to Forbes.
Almost all advertisers, across all verticals, can benefit from the readiness and transactional impact of Amazon’s customer base.
While there isn’t a way to target specific channels or program content (yet), this is also what makes Amazon’s OTT offering so powerful. It’s no longer about channels or networks, it’s about user behavior and reaching that user when and where it matters most. Marketers who don’t opt to test this channel now will be missing a huge opportunity.