Amazon unveils Virtual Product Placement beta at NewFronts

Amazon today unveiled the beta version of its Virtual Product Placement (VPP) program, among other new advertising products at its NewFronts presentation.

VPP is designed to insert brand ads into Prime Video and Amazon Freevee original content. It lets companies bolster their audience reach, which then gives Amazon programming more exposure.

Henrik Bastin, CEO of Fabel Entertainment and executive producer of “Bosch: Legacy,” said in a statement VPP is a “game changer” for Amazon content creators.

“It creates the ability to film your series without thinking about all that is required with traditional placements during production. Instead, you can sit with the final cut and see where a product could be seamlessly and naturally integrated into the storytelling,” he said.

“Bosch: Legacy,” an upcoming Amazon Freevee series, is one of the titles incorporating VPP along with “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan,” “Leverage: Redemption” and others. Amazon, which rebranded its free ad-supportedTV service IMDb TV into Amazon Freevee on April 27, announced Freevee has increased its FAST offering to over 75 channels.

Amazon did not name any specific brands that are testing VPP, but the company indicated one consumer packaged goods (CPG) brand experienced a 6.9% increase in brand favorability and a 14.7% increase in purchase intent for their campaign

Amazon, among other streaming services, is experimenting with ways to more precisely target ads to viewers. Peacock today at NewFronts showcased two ad formats it’s testing for its platform. One of the features involves geotargeting, displaying ads of brands that are relevant to viewers’ location.

Aside from VPP, Amazon introduced its Streaming TV Media Player, which lets advertisers see their incremental streaming TV reach through Amazon Ads and compare that to linear reach. Twitch, the Amazon-owned livestreaming service, unveiled at NewFronts “For Twitch, With Twitch” – a selection of content, from both Twitch-operated and individual channels, geared to increase brand reach on the platform.

Advertising isn’t the only area Amazon’s making headway. The NFL and Amazon announced at today’s presentation the first matchup for the 2022-23 Thursday Night Football season, for which Amazon acquired exclusive streaming rights last year. Prime Video and Twitch will broadcast the game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Los Angeles Chargers on September 15.

Jay Marine, head of sports at Prime Video, said viewers “will enjoy only-on Prime Video features like Next Gen Stats powered by Amazon Web Services, X-Ray, Twitch integrations, and new technology delivering industry-leading ultra-low latency for live streaming.”

The Thursday Night Football package would give Amazon a leg-up in the sports streaming game. Seeking to extend its relationship with the NFL, Amazon is currently in a bidding war against Apple to land the NFL Sunday Ticket in 2023.