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Fire TV is getting search ads and non-entertainment banner ads

07 Nov 2023 | Rasmus Larsen |

Amazon is increasing the number of ads on users' existing Fire TV boxes, sticks, and displays through a server-side update.

Amazon's Fire TV platform was launched in April 2014 and is soon approaching its 10th anniversary. The initial Fire TV streaming box was priced at $100, but over time, the cost has steadily decreased, with Fire TV sticks now available for as little as $20.

To compensate for the decline in hardware revenue, Amazon, like many of its competitors, is turning to ads and user monetization.

Fire TV search and banner ads

Amazon is now introducing a new set of ad formats for Fire TV, which includes search ads and non-entertainment banner ads. Similar to Google TV, Amazon's Fire TV will begin displaying banner ads at the top of the home screen for non-entertainment brands and products. Previously, the top banner was reserved for entertainment services such as Disney+. According to the Lowpass newsletter by Janko Roettgers, the new Fire TV ad formats are as follows:
  • These include context-relevant search ads. Amazon announced a new, AI-powered search experience for Fire TVs earlier this fall. “You can ask Alexa: Play the TV show with the guy who plays the lawyer from ‘Breaking Bad,’” said Maines. And now, advertisers who happen to have shows or movies featuring Bob Odenkirk on their service can run relevant ad tiles against that search.
  • Amazon is also starting to display context-relevant ads when consumers are browsing the Fire TV catalog, among other things.
  • And finally, Amazon is giving more advertisers access to the big featured banner at the top of the Fire TV home screen. Those ad placements were previously reserved to streaming services and other entertainment customers. Now, non-entertainment brands can also advertise using what Maines called the Cadillac of ad spots. "It’s definitely our highest-impact native ad placement," she said.
  • FireTV ads

    Example of the new non-entertainment banner ad on the Fire TV homescreen. Photo: Amazon

    Time to switch TV platform?

    Amazon acknowledged that the increasing number of ads might cause some viewers to switch to other TV platforms. - "If you do not enjoy using your Fire TV, you will stop using it," Charlotte Maines, Amazon's director of Fire TV advertising, told Lowpass. "Then I don't have an opportunity for advertisers, because I don’t have a user." However, Amazon's competitors, including Roku, Google TV, LG with webOS, and Samsung with Tizen in Smart TVs, are adopting similar strategies. Apple has largely avoided ads on tvOS for Apple TV thus far. - Source: Lowpass

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