May 02, 2022
Amazon executives and talent took the stage today at the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s (IAB) NewFronts to unveil a slate of content and technologies that will delight viewers and create more opportunities for companies to build their brands across Amazon Freevee, Thursday Night Football on Prime Video, and Twitch.
“At Amazon, we’re constantly inventing on behalf of customers and pushing ourselves to find new ways to exceed their expectations,” said Colleen Aubrey, SVP of ad products and tech, Amazon Ads. “At NewFronts, we’re thrilled to show how we’ve applied this passion for delighting customers to create compelling content and experiences across Amazon Freevee, Prime Video, Twitch, and Amazon Music that also help brands connect with these audiences.”
New premium content from Amazon Freevee
Amazon Freevee, formerly IMDb TV, announced an increased slate of premium Originals, with multiple pickups of scripted and unscripted content. The free streaming service greenlit a new cooking competition series called America’s Test Kitchen: The Next Generation, the coming-of-age drama Beyond Black Beauty, the family competition series Play-Doh Squished, and the music documentary Post Malone: Runaway. Freevee also picked up a second season of Bosch: Legacy and a third and fourth season of UNINTERRUPTED’s Top Class: The Life and Times of the Sierra Canyon Trailblazers.
Additionally, Amazon Freevee has secured a short-term film licensing agreement with Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution for a limited selection of titles such as Deadpool, Deadpool 2, Logan, Hidden Figures, Murder on the Orient Express, and The Post. Freevee also announced that it has increased its free ad-supported TV offering to more than 75 channels, including exclusive linear channels for the hit Canadian sitcom Kim’s Convenience, as well as the original The Kids in the Hall comedy series.
Excitement builds for Thursday Night Football on Prime Video and Twitch
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell appeared onstage today, along with iconic play-by-play announcer Al Michaels and Emmy award-winning analyst Kirk Herbstreit, to share their excitement about Amazon’s partnership with the NFL, which will provide enhanced experiences for fans and opportunities for advertisers. The NFL and Amazon recently announced that the first Thursday Night Football matchup will be an exciting AFC West showdown, with the Kansas City Chiefs hosting the Los Angeles Chargers on September 15, exclusively on Prime Video and Twitch, and that Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez is joining the Amazon TNF team as a studio analyst. Amazon also introduced breakthrough new technology that will allow fans to watch TNF and other live sports without the lag time and buffering that can delay live streaming.
Virtual Product Placement in Original Series
Amazon unveiled a new Virtual Product Placement (VPP) open beta program during its NewFront presentation, which enables approved products to be seamlessly inserted into participating Prime Video and Amazon Freevee Original content after filming has wrapped. In collaboration with creative partners, VPP helps brands show up in new places, reaching an audience they want to reach, and allows Amazon content creators to focus on what they do best during the filmmaking process—telling great stories. Some of the most popular Prime Video and Amazon Freevee Original titles are already participating in VPP, including Reacher, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, the Bosch franchise, Making the Cut, and Leverage: Redemption.
Brands that have tested VPP are also seeing value. A CPG brand experienced a 6.9% increase in brand favorability and a 14.7% increase in purchase intent for their campaign.
New opportunities for brands on Twitch
Twitch announced For Twitch, With Twitch—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. For Twitch, With Twitch includes content from Twitch’s owned-and-operated channels such as /Twitch Rivals, /TwitchSports, and /twitchgaming, as well as individual creator-led passion projects. For Twitch, With Twitch celebrates the unique concepts and content from the Twitch creator community and provides opportunities for advertisers to authentically invest in popular, live, community-first content on Twitch. Twitch also discussed community-first programming such as POG Picks, the interactive live-shopping game show; original shows around college basketball such as Let’s Go! College Hoops and SuperFan FaceOff; and the upcoming live unboxing show Drops with Swagg.
Additionally, Twitch showcased a program called Co-Op Drops, where brands can present Drops—an existing popular Twitch experience where in-game rewards are granted to viewers for watching streams on Twitch—to integrate themselves into popular gaming moments and earn community trust through amplifying rewards. In collaboration with Twitch, Adobe was the first brand to test the program in March in a series of sponsored streams with six Twitch creators playing Amazon Games’ New World, which received 3.1 million total views at the time of launch.