Amazon Makes Upfront Deals With 40% More Advertisers

Leverage: Redemption Amazon Advertising Upfront
'Leverage: Redemption' is one of the IMDb TV series pitched at Amazon's NewFront presentation (Image credit: IMDb TV)

Amazon Advertising said it completed its upfront negotiations, having reached deals for the 2021-22 broadcast year with 40% more advertisers than last year.

In May, Amazon made its first presentation at the digital video NewFronts, pitching both a lineup of new shows on IMDb TV and advanced advertising capabilities. Amazon’s Twitch and Fire TV platforms were also part of the Amazon upfront, along with Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime Video.

In the upfront marketplace, Amazon rode a wave powered by strong demand as businesses look to build post-pandemic sales and a shortage of traditional television impressions that has both viewers and advertisers shifting their attention to over-the-top TV and streaming.

Traditional media companies reported record setting upfronts in terms of dollars volume across platforms, with price increases of 19-23% for broadcast inventory and price hikes in the teens for cable.

Amazon declined to discuss its volume or pricing.

Also Read: Roku Finishes Upfront With Double Last Year’s Volume

“Our mission is to keep raising the bar on the customer experience for both advertisers and viewers. That’s why we’ve been laser-focused on investing in premium content, creating innovative ad experiences, and making streaming TV advertising smarter and simpler as viewing habits continue to change,” said Mark Eamer, VP of video ads and IMDb TV at Amazon Advertising. “We are thrilled to help brands re-imagine their media strategies and achieve greater results by engaging viewers who are tough to reach with traditional TV.”

Also Read: Cox Media Group Makes Deal With Amazon Advertising

At its NewFront Amazon introduced a number of original series including a half-hour drama from Dick Wolf called On Call and a reboot of the TNT series Leverage.

Also Read: Amazon Streaming Norman Lear Series in Deal With Sony Pictures

The presentation spelled out ways that Amazon OTT video ads can enable brands to show up alongside content across IMDb TV, Twitch, live sports on Prime Video, top-tier network and broadcaster apps, and Fire TV’s curated News app. It showed how advertisers can participate in branded entertainment opportunities with IMDb TV, including featuring products or services in the storylines of IMDb TV Originals, and producing custom, co-branded creative assets for streaming TV campaigns or other channels like social media.

Amazon also has trucks full of data about what consumers shop for and buy.

In the days after its upfront presentation, Amazon Advertising reached a partnership deal with media buyer Publicis. Eventually other big agencies came to terms.

“We are constantly evaluating how we can better serve our clients and deliver solutions that help extend the value of their media investments,” said Susan Schiekofer, U.S. chief digital investment officer, GroupM. “Amazon Advertising’s scale and insights, paired with a deep understanding of the streaming TV landscape and commitment to innovation, presents a very compelling offering for marketers who want to engage today’s viewing audiences. We’re excited to lean into the opportunity at hand here and enable our clients to continue connecting with audiences in more substantive and impactful ways.”

Amazon Advertising said it has an unduplicated monthly audience of 120 million viewers across the U.S.

“With the rise of streaming TV viewership and growing number of OTT options, we’ve been working hard to create unique ways for brands to break through the clutter and build connections with the most relevant audiences across Amazon, including IMDb TV and Twitch,” said Alan Moss, VP of global ad sales, Amazon Advertising. “We’ve received a positive response from our advertising customers during this upfront, and look forward to collaborating closely to deliver on their goals and help move their businesses forward.”

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.