Amazon’s Rising Clout In Streaming Ad Business Steps Into Spotlight At NewFronts

In the history of full-tilt advertising pitches that have stunned and dazzled buyers, heroineTonight’s NewFront presentation might not be worth a particularly long or detailed chapter.

Most of the announcements during the 90-minute program were posted to Deadline and other outlets before hundreds of people gathered at the David H. Koch Theater in New York’s Lincoln Center. The big draw for advertisers — caught up with the weekly NFL game as an 11-year exclusive as part of the league’s wide media rights deals — has been known to viewers for more than a year.

And yet, as a display of sheer force, Prime Video’s sports push, livestreamed mainstays Twitch and the just-rebranded FreeVie, arranged tours through businesses like Amazon put Amazon on the media map even more completely. in streamingOf course, the past few weeks have shown that any serious contender will need a well-developed advertising business, and Amazon fits that bill. And it’s a lucrative market. Once next to the digital monopolies of Facebook and Google, Amazon generated $31.2 billion in ad revenue in 2021, and a large and growing share of that is in video.

last year, when Upfronts and newfronts were still held virtually due to covid, amazon held its first edition. This year’s individual debut took full advantage of the posh setting, beginning with a ballerina dancing in front of a giant video screen, before the Blue Angels drum line tossed out an opening fusilade.

Thankfully, the host of the night was Amy Poehler. The comedian who has become an active producer and director (with two projects at Amazon, one in each role) delivered a welcome dose of intimacy during an otherwise straight-forward evening.

After another sizzle reel played, Poehler reached the middle of the stage, smirking as he left, “That video was so funny, and I’m really glad I saw it. But I want to know more.” !” Regarding Amazon’s fast-growing livestream platform, it announced, “Twitch: The best place to watch people play video games!”

There were sections about the new advertising strategy (for example, virtual product placement putting the brand in shots in the post) and a half-dozen creative teams from new and returning shows. Part of the show seemed deliberately engineered not to deliver any new news: NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was questioned by Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit, who would team up at the tech giant’s Thursday night booth. “Amazon Prime is going to change the way people watch football,” Goodell said without elaborating. Given the league’s prior experiments with Yahoo and Twitter, as well as Amazon’s “tri-casts” with the NFL Network and broadcast partners, Goodell said, “this deal is probably seven years in the making.”

Herbstreet then asked, “Where do you see all this in the next five to 10 years?” (Given that Thursday Night’s arrangement runs through 2033, it seems hard to imagine dramatic changes from a science-fiction novel.)

Soon, Poehler was back on stage, mocking slow-moving panels that opened and closed on talent, including the football trio. Maybe she’s doing something too when she took a serious tone during her opening monologue. “Tonight, at midnight, Amazon is just going back to sell books,” she said, before admitting it was just a lie.