Fire TV dongles are cheap, but Amazon is making up for it with more ads


Posts: 9,589   +120
Staff member
A hot potato: Amazon's Fire TV platform is set to become a lot more annoying for anyone who hates ads, which, let's face it, is most people. Like the company's Prime Video service, more advertisements are coming to Fire TVs, along with new ad formats.

Amazon's director of Fire TV Advertising, Monetization, and Engagement, Charlotte Maines, spoke to StreamTV Insider about the new types of ads coming to Fire TVs.

One of these ads is linked to the generative AI-powered Alexa search that lets users find shows based on conversational prompts. An example of this search functionality is someone asking Alexa to find the "TV show with the guy who plays the lawyer from Breaking Bad." In addition to surfacing series starring Bob Odenkirk such as Better Call Saul, users will also see relevant ads.

Amazon is also launching "contextual sponsored tiles" that appear when users browse shows and movies to watch. These will allow advertisers to target specific genres being browsed (e.g., horror movies) or they can utilize Amazon's machine learning service to auto-contextualize.

Maines said advertisers have been asking for a way to integrate their ads into the platform's search functionality. "It just makes sense to expand our existing sponsor tile offering to show advertisements on the search screen with no extra effort or cost for the advertiser," she said.

Finally, the Featured banner ads that appear on a Fire device's home screen, which had been previously only shown media- and entertainment-related ads, will start showing advertisements unrelated to these areas – something that Google TV did earlier this year. Advertisers can buy placement as the first slot in the rotating hero area, the Feature Rotator, which Amazon says is the first thing people see when they turn on their Fire TV.

Maines said these banner ads will take up half the screen. She added that they're also persistent, meaning that customers will continue to see them while browsing the UI. Furthermore, on-device ads will be present even when users are not watching ad-supported content, ensuring that all users encounter advertisements.

The new ads are coming to the entire Fire TV platform, covering branded television sets, Fire Sticks, and other Amazon devices.

Back in September, Amazon announced plans to introduce ads to the Prime Video service that comes as part of having a Prime subscription. Users wishing to avoid these ads can opt for an ad-free experience by paying an additional $2.99 per month, on top of their Prime subscription fee.

Permalink to story.

This...This is why I recommend Apple TV over Android competitors despite the dubious value proposition. Ads taking up half the screen is absurd in every way.
Disgusting. I hate it. Good thing I don't have any Fire TV devices and don't typically use streaming services in general.

Xbox did something similar recently with their dashboard update that made the Xbox home screen utterly infested with ads, while the company uttered BS about "improving the user experience." Thankfully, unplugging the console from the internet gets rid of the ads and, unlike streaming services, games can be played without an internet connection.