Amazon is considering including more advertising opportunities on its video content to compete with YouTube, CNBC reported. The news organization spoke to five sources with knowledge of the talks, including people from major advertising companies and media companies.
According to the sources, who asked to remain anonymous, Amazon suggested it would be launching more advertiser-friendly initiatives. The company suggested it would be more open to giving advertisers more data on what viewers were watching and what they were doing online. Additionally, it suggested a program where it would pair companies with vetted video producers to create sponsored content, one buyer said. And because the production would technically be an advertisement, Amazon would get some of the deal money.
The company also met with several technology companies to discuss how to prevent inappropriate content from appearing next to ads, an issue known as content adjacency, something that YouTube has had serious trouble handling.
Currently anyone can upload videos to Amazon through a program called Amazon Video Direct (AVD), The videos are then available to buy or rent, stream through Amazon Prime or to watch for free with ads. AVD’s current ad-supported program is comparable to YouTube’s offering, but advertisers aren’t confident in the platform yet. According to Media buyers that CNBC spoke with, AVD doesn’t provide as much information about ad performance (including return on investment) compared to YouTube and doesn’t allow third parties to audit how well the ads are doing, with one media buyer calling it a “black box.” Another downfall — It’s also pricier than YouTube.
The sources requested anonymity because these were private meetings with Amazon about potential projects, and they were not authorized to discuss them publicly.