Amazon Ads x Digital Upfronts: 4 things we learnt

Posted on Friday 15 October 2021 | IAB UK

Following the launch of IMDb TV in the UK, the team at Amazon Ads shared the content advertisers and viewers can expect to find on the service

The goal at Amazon is to “bring joy, excitement and novelty to everyday interactions”, explained Amazon Ads’ International Sales Director Zach Johnson and - with the launch of IMDb TV in the UK - the company’s ability to engage and delight consumers has just got stronger. The following hour focused on what IMDb TV has to offer both viewers and advertisers, with an overriding focus on quality, original content. Here are our key takeaways:

1. Streaming is soaring 

“We have seen exponential growth in streaming TV”, said  Laura Belchier, Senior Sales Manager at Amazon Ads. In fact, Amazon has seen a 519% year-on-year increase in weekly hours streamed in the US alone, while the average IMDb TV viewer across the pond watches 5 and a half hours of TV a week. Following the launch of IMDb TV in the UK, Gina Bellman - star of soon-to-be-released ‘Leverage: Redemption’, an IMDb TV original reboot  - believes that the UK audience will be receptive to the show because there is a “huge culture in the UK of watching TV as a family, as a social activity”. 

2. Audiences are highly engaged 

93% of all time spent watching video ads is on TV, explained Piers Heaton-Armstrong, VP of EU Advertising, and IMDb TV enhances that viewing experience with mid-roll only placements. The platform is “easy to stream and provides a better ad experience - similar to brand safe, traditional TV”, added Phil Christer, UK Managing Director. Not only are IMDb TV’s audiences highly engaged, but, according to Christer, “it helps your brand connect with a hard to reach audience of streamers”. 

3. Content rules 

“Amazon is investing in original content on a par with the best of broadcast and satellite TV”, with all original content free to access. Ryan Pirozzi and Lauren Anderson, Co-Heads of Content and Programming at IMDb TV, gave delegates a jam-packed run-through of the huge roster of content on the platform - from original releases like the latest series of Alex Rider, to documentary-style films like ‘Luke Ryan: My Dirt Road Diary’, to movie classics such as Pulp Fiction. 

4. Coming soon… 

Ahead of the UK release of ‘Leverage: Redemption’ on 22 October, Anderson spoke to the Executive Producer of the show Dean Devlin, as well as its stars Gina Bellman and Christian Kane. The series, a revival of Leverage, is a fast-paced heist drama that Bellman describes as bringing “new characters, fresh energy and a fresh lens” to the original. Asked as to whether he thinks the show will translate to a UK market, Devlin highlighted the influence that UK hits - from Sherlock to Doctor Who -  have had on his work, adding: “What gives me confidence is how many UK fans have been on social media asking ‘when do we get the show?’ 

You watch Amazon Ad's Upfront on-demand here.

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